Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX) introduced legislation that would create a grant program for colleges and universities to create and expand the use of open-access textbooks. The Affordable College Textbook Act would give the public the right to access, customize, and distribute the online content in an effort to curb the rising costs of supplies and course materials.
Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Al Franken (D-MN) have introduced similar legislation in the Senate.
If passed, the law would establish a grant program to support efforts to create and expand the use of open-access textbooks with priority placed on those pilots that achieve the highest savings. It would also guarantee that open educational material would be easily accessible and require institutions to report on the effectiveness of any funded program.
“Simply put, this is about making college more accessible and more affordable for students who are eager to earn their college degree,” Hinojosa wrote in a guest column for a South Texas newspaper.