BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          AB 798 (Bonilla) - College Textbook Affordability Act of 2015.
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          |Version: July 1, 2015           |Policy Vote: ED. 7 - 0          |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: No                     |
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          |Hearing Date: August 17, 2015   |Consultant: Jillian Kissee      |
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          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File.

          Summary:  This bill establishes, until July 1, 2020, a state  
          grant program to incentivize increased adoption of open  
          educational resources (OER) at California Community Colleges  
          (CCC) and the California State University (CSU) campuses.

           The expansion of the use of previously appropriated funds will  
            allow expenditure of approximately $4 million in unspent funds  
            from the initial appropriation to go mostly towards local  
            incentive grants to adopt OERs.  (General Fund)
           Cost pressure of $140,000 to continue to fund the California  
            Digital Open Source Library annually once the original  
            appropriation is depleted.  (General Fund)

     Background:1)  OERs are educational materials that include textbooks, research  
          articles, videos, assessments, or simulations that are either  


          AB 798 (Bonilla)                                       Page 1 of  
          licensed under an open copyright license or are in the public  
          domain.  OERs provide no-cost access and no-cost permission to  
          revise, reuse, or redistribute the materials. 
          Existing law requires the CSU Trustees and the CCC Board of  
          Governors, and requests the Regents of the University of  
          California (UC) to work with the academic senates to encourage  
          faculty to give consideration to the least costly practices in  
          assigning textbooks and to encourage faculty to disclose to  
          students how new editions of textbooks are different from  
          previous editions.  

          Existing law establishes the California Digital Open Source  
          Library administered by the CSU, in coordination with the CCC,  
          for the purpose of housing open source materials while providing  
          an internet web-based way for students, faculty, and staff to  
          easily find, adopt, utilize, or modify course materials for  
          little or no cost.  (EC  66408)

          SB 1052 (Steinberg, Chapter 621, Statutes of 2012) established  
          the California OER Council (Council), to develop a list of 50  
          lower division courses across the three segments for which  
          high-quality, affordable digital open source textbooks and  
          related material is developed or acquired, to create and  
          administer a review and approval process for open source  
          materials, and to establish a competitive request-for-proposal  
          process in which faculty members, publishers, and other  
          interested parties would apply for funds to produce 50  
          high-quality, affordable, digital open source textbooks and  
          related materials.  An appropriation of $5 million was provided  
          for this effort, to be matched by non-state funds.  

          Proposed Law:  
            This bill establishes the College Textbook Affordability Act  
          of 2015 to reduce costs for college students by encouraging  
          faculty to accelerate the adoption of OERs.  
          This bill establishes the Open Educational Resources Adoption  
          Incentive Fund to provide incentives and reward campus and  
          faculty efforts to accelerate adoption of open educational  
          resources.  Moneys in this fund are required to be used by the  
          CCC and the CSU for the following purposes related to OERs:


          AB 798 (Bonilla)                                       Page 2 of  

                 Professional development;

                 Curating activities;

                 Curriculum modification; and

                 Technology support for faculty, students, and staff.

          A CSU or CCC campus may develop a plan that describes evidence  
          of the campus's commitment and readiness to effectively spend  
          grant money from the fund to support faculty adoption of OERs.   
          The plan must include various components tsuch as: goals for  
          three years that focus on reducing costs for the students and  
          increasing the adoption of OERs; the use of available OERs; and  
          an assessment of the costs for students to purchase OER course  
          materials.  A campus may submit the plan to Council for an  
          initial grant from the fund.  

          The Council is required to review plans and can approve up to  
          100 plans per year.  Initial grants must not exceed $10,000.   
          Campuses then receive bonus grants of $10,000 for each year of  
          implementation for up to three years that it meets its own  
          established performance benchmarks for accelerating usage of  
          OERs.  Of each grant award, 25 percent must be matched by the  
          receiving campus.  

          This bill authorizes the use of $5 million appropriated in  
          existing law in the 2011-12 fiscal year for funding grants and  
          administrative costs of the College Textbook Affordability Act  
          and exempts it from the requirement to be matched by private  
          funds as required for the other uses of these funds.  Of this  
          amount, up to $140,000 annually is to support the California  
          Digital Open Source Library (COOL4Ed) to continue developing and  
          updating its services to provide faculty, staff, and students  
          convenient access to free and open sources materials and for  
          administrative activities to support the Council.  


          AB 798 (Bonilla)                                       Page 3 of  

          The Intersegmental Committee of Academic Senates is required to  
          report to the Legislature each year beginning in 2018 as to  
          whether grants are increasing the rate of adoption of open  
          educational resources and decreasing textbook costs for  

          Legislation:  SB 1052 (Steinberg, Chapter 621, Statutes of 2012)  
          created the California OER Council to identify 50 courses where  
          OERs could be created or identified in order to reduce costs for  

          SB 1053 (Steinberg, Chapter 622, Statutes of 2012) created the  
          California Digital Open Source Library to provide OERs in one  
          central location.    

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