California Passes Law Offering Free, Digital Textbooks To Students

It's no secret that higher education is becoming more and more expensive here in the U.S. Thankfully, some people realize how big the issue has become and California has stepped up to help students out in a big way. On Thursday, September 27th Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a proposal that offers students free, digital textbooks.

"Many students are paying more than $1,000 every year on their textbooks, sometimes having to choose between buying the books they need or paying for food and other living expenses," said Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, who authored the bills.

As part of the new program, 50 new open-source textbooks will be created for California University students to use free of charge. The textbooks will be hosted through the California Digital Open Source Library, which was created by a second bill in the proposal.

The approval process each submitted textbook must go through will be overseen by the California Open Education Resources Council, which is comprised entirely of school faculty members. The council will produce the books for the 2013-2014 school year and also has the option to use open-source books that are already available.

While all of the books will be available for free as digital editions, students will also have the option to purchase hard copies for $20 each.

[The Atlantic via DVICE]