Free Textbooks for California

Ann McClure's picture

In a step toward improving college access and affordability, California Gov. Jerry Brown has passed two bills that will provide students with free access to digital textbooks.

Bills 1052 and 1053, passed last week, call for creating free, open source digital textbooks for 50 of the most widely taken introductory courses among the University of California, and California Community College systems, and creating a state digital open source library to house the texts.

But just how much an impact this legislation will have on students’ out-of-pocket textbook costs is impossible to predict until the texts have been created and made available, says Jason Lorgan, director of the University of California, Davis stores.

“The principles of academic freedom would still be in play,” says Lorgan. “The faculty member would still have to determine if [the material] is appropriate for their course.”

Read more