In August, the California State Senate passed two bills, SB 1052 and SB 1053, with the purpose of providing financial relief to students in need of college textbooks. The bills would establish the Open Education Resources Council to select and develop free digital textbooks for the most common undergraduate courses at state universities and community colleges across the nation. In addition, they would create the nation’s first open source library for digital textbooks. It would give faculty the option to use free online textbooks instead of the expensive traditional printed textbooks.

Currently, the bills are on the desk of California Governor Jerry Brown, whose signature is required to enact these bills into law. It is assumed that he will sign the bills, but the 20 Million Minds Foundation has created an infographic to help further stress their importance. The infographic shows the textbook costs for 10 of the most popular undergraduate courses for the state of California. It states that students can collectively save $162.5 million per school year by switching to open source textbooks proposed by the bills. It equals to an 87% reduction in textbook costs on the statewide level for these courses. Through these savings, a singular student can save over $1,600 on their required textbooks. Furthermore, these calculations only account for 10 of the 50 planned textbooks, meaning that the savings will be even greater for students.

If the two bills are signed by Governor Brown, they will have the potential to produce over $1 billion in savings for California students and college students nationwide over the next decade.

UPDATE: Governor Jerry Brown has signed both SB1052 and SB1053 on September 28th, effectively passing the two bills into law.

If you would like to read the press release from the 20 Million Minds Foundation, you can visit:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *