Support College Textbook Affordability Act

Spring 2015; Resolution Number: 06.05

Whereas, High textbook prices are an increasingly significant barrier to student success, as many students cannot afford and thus do not purchase necessary course materials without which their performance in the corresponding courses is impeded;

Whereas, Open Educational Resources, when reviewed and selected by discipline faculty for their own courses, can in many cases offer appropriate low-cost alternatives to published textbooks for students;

Whereas, AB 798 (Bonilla, as of April 6, 2015), the College Textbook Affordability Act, would provide resources for colleges to promote the consideration of Open Educational Resources by faculty but makes provision for local academic senate approval of any program established through these funds and allows colleges to set their own benchmarks to account for the use of the funds; and

Whereas, Assembly Member Bonilla and her staff have consulted directly with the ASCCC in developing AB 798 and have committed to further consultation necessary regarding any amendments to the bill;

Resolved, That the ASCCC endorse the intent of AB 798 (Bonilla, as of April 6, 2015) to promote the consideration of appropriate open educational resources through funding that is dependent on the agreement of local academic senates.

Update the Paper Textbook Issues: Economic Pressures and Academic Values
Spring 2015; Resolution Number: 16.01

Whereas, Resolution 11.01 F12 Pursue Statewide Open Educational Resources for Student Success[1] (Links to an external site.) supported ASCCC participation in “the convening of appropriate stakeholders, including faculty from our intersegmental partners for implementation of SB 1052 and 1053 (Steinberg, 2012), to develop appropriate rules and guidelines for accessing Open Educational Resources materials for faculty in a broad range of formats that encourage their wide-spread availability for adoption and use”;

Whereas, The California Digital Open Source Library (CDOSL) is being designed so faculty can easily find, adopt, utilize, and modify OER course materials for little or no cost, and the California Open Online Library for Education[2] (Links to an external site.) is the first library service of the CDOSL;

Whereas, The ASCCC has two papers on affordable options for textbooks, Textbook Pricing Policies and Student Access (1997) and Textbook Issues: Economic Pressures and Academic Values (2005), which do not reflect the current technological options or the work that has been done by the California Open Education Resources Council in response to SB 1052 and 1053 (Steinberg, 2012); and

Whereas, While the availability of open education resources through the California Digital Open Source Library (CDOSL) provides faculty with additional textbook options for their classes, the review and consideration of course textbooks is both a faculty professional duty and a matter of academic freedom that is crucial for ensuring the appropriate levels of academic rigor for their courses;

Resolved, That the ASCCC update the paper Textbook Issues: Economic Pressures and Academic Values (2005) to include current technological options and the work that has been done by the California Open Education Resources Council and bring it to the body for approval at the Spring 2016 Plenary Session; and

Resolved, That the ASCCC urge remind faculty of the availability of open educational resources, and that as part of their textbook evaluation processes, suggest the review and consideration to review and consider the adoption of appropriate open educational resources textbooks while adhering to the highest professional standards and ensuring appropriate levels of academic rigor for their courses.