BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó

          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                        AB 798|
          |Office of Senate Floor Analyses   |                              |
          |(916) 651-1520    Fax: (916)      |                              |
          |327-4478                          |                              |

                                   THIRD READING 

          Bill No:  AB 798
          Author:   Bonilla (D)
          Amended:  8/31/15 in Senate
          Vote:     21  

           SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE:  7-0, 7/8/15
           AYES:  Liu, Runner, Hancock, Leyva, Monning, Pan, Vidak
           NO VOTE RECORDED:  Block, Mendoza

           AYES: Lara, Bates, Beall, Hill, Leyva, Mendoza, Nielsen

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  78-0, 6/4/15 - See last page for vote

           SUBJECT:   College Textbook Affordability Act of 2015

          SOURCE:   California State Student Association

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


          Existing law:

          1)Requires the CSU Trustees and the CCC Board of Governors, and  


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            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 also urges textbook publishers to  
            provide information to faculty when they are considering what  
            textbooks to order, and to post information on the publishers'  
            Web sites, including "an explanation of how the newest edition  
            is different from previous editions."  In addition, publishers  
            are asked to disclose to faculty the length of time they  
            intend to produce the current edition and provide faculty free  
            copies of each textbook selected.  (Education Code § 66406) 

          2)Creates the College Textbook Transparency Act which requires  
            faculty members and academic departments at an institution of  
            higher education to consider cost in the adoption of textbooks  
            and also requires textbook publishers to disclose specified  
            information.  (EC § 66406.7)

          3)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.  Specifies that the CSU shall also act in  
            coordination with the UC in administering the California  
            Digital Open Source Library.  (EC § 66408)

          4)Establishes the California Open Educational Resources Council,  
            composed of faculty leaders from the CCC, CSU, and UC, and  
            administered by the Intersegmental Committee of the Academic  
            Senates of these segments of public postsecondary education,  
            or a successor group.  Provides that the Council shall be  
            responsible for the development of a list of 50 strategically  
            selected lower division courses in the public postsecondary  
            segments for which high-quality, affordable, digital open  
            source textbooks and related materials shall be developed or  


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            acquired. (EC § 66409)

          5)Requires, by January 1, 2020, publishers of textbooks used at  
            the UC, CSU, and the CCC, or private postsecondary educational  
            institutions, to the extent practicable, to make textbooks  
            available in whole or in part for sale in an electronic format  
            and requires the electronic format to contain the same content  
            as the printed version.  (EC § 66410)  

          This bill:

          1)Establishes the College Textbook Affordability Act of 2015 to  
            reduce costs for college students by encouraging faculty to  
            accelerate the adoption of lower cost, high-quality, open  
            educational resources (OERs).  Provides that faculty  
            development shall be a key component of this initiative, and  
            requires the initiative to utilize the resources identified,  
            houses, produced, and otherwise found appropriate to the  
            California Open Education Resources Council and the California  
            Digital Open Source Library.  

          2)Establishes the Open Educational Resources Adoption Incentive  
            Fund to provide incentives and rewards for campus and faculty  
            efforts to accelerate the adoption of OERs for the purpose of  
            reducing students' cost and improving access to quality  

          3)Provides that moneys in the fund, upon appropriation by the  
            Legislature, are to create and support faculty professional  
            development, professional development for staff, OER curation  
            activities, curriculum modification, and technology support  
            for faculty, students, and staff.

          4)Prohibits moneys in the fund from being used for direct  
            compensation for faculty who adopt OERs or for purchasing new  


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          5)Defines OERs as high-quality teaching, learning, and research  
            resources that reside in the public domain or have been  
            released under an intellectual property license that permits  
            their free use and repurposing by others, and may include  
            other resources that are legally available and free of cost to  

          6)Authorizes campuses, upon adoption of a local resolution  
            demonstrating its commitment to increase student access to  
            high-quality OERs and in collaboration with students and the  
            administration, to develop a plan that describes evidence of  
            the campus' commitment and readiness to effectively spend  
            grant money to support faculty adoption of OERs, as specified.  
            The plan shall include three benchmarks focusing on reducing  
            costs for students and increasing the adoption of high-quality  
            OERs consisting of annual goals for three years.

          7)Provides that a plan that demonstrates readiness requirements  
            shall be given priority for approval, as specified, including  
            concrete benchmarks that demonstrate quantifiable outcomes to  
            be achieved from its implementation, and the utilization of  
            available OERs. 

          8)Provides that each local campus may submit the resolution and  
            plan to the California Open Education Resources Council for an  
            initial grant, and one additional plan for every additional  
            10,000 students.  A local campus that is receiving a grant or  
            bonus grant may submit no more than the maximum number of  
            plans for an initial grant minus the number of the campus'  
            plans that are currently receiving a grant or bonus grant.

          9)Requires the California Open Education Resources Council to  
            review the plan, and approve it if it meets the requirements,  
            as specified.  Provides that the plans shall be submitted and  
            approved in one of two rounds, as specified, with up to 100  
            plans approved per year.  For a plan that is not approved, the  
            council shall recommend modifications to increase the  
            likelihood of the plan's success.  Allows administrative  
            support to be provided by COOL4Ed to the California Open  


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            Education Resources Council.

          10)Limits an initial grant at $10,000 and provides that each  
            campus shall receive an annual bonus grant of up to $10,000  
            for up to three years for meeting established performance  
            benchmarks for accelerating usage of OERs in courses, as  
            specified.  Provides that a plan that has not met a benchmark  
            shall not be awarded any bonus grant and shall be deemed  
            terminated.  Allows additional bonus grants if sufficient  
            funds remain available in the Open Educational Adoption  
            Incentive Fund after the first bonus grants for reaching the  
            third benchmark are awarded.

          11)Requires the bonus grants to be used for any, or some  
            combination, of faculty professional development, professional  
            development of staff, OER curation activities, curriculum  
            modification, and technological support for faculty, students,  
            and staff.

          12)Requires a grant recipient to report to the California Open  
            Education Resources Council as to whether its benchmarks have  
            been reached to determine whether it is eligible for bonus  
            grants, as specified.

          13)Requires the Intersegmental Committee of Academic Senates to  
            report to the Legislature before July of each year, commencing  
            in 2018, as to whether the grants are increasing the rate of  
            adoption of OERs and decreasing textbook costs for college  

          14)Provides that the bill's provisions shall become inoperative  
            on July 1, 2020.

          15)Authorizes the College Textbook Affordability Act of 2015 to  
            be funded from the existing appropriation for the California  
            Open Education Resources Council and the California Digital  
            Open Source Library, as specified.

          16)Specifies that moneys appropriated for purposes of the  


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            College Textbook Affordability Act of 2015 shall not be  
            required to be matched by private funds.

          17)Requires 25 percent of each grant awarded to a campus for  
            purposes of this bill shall be matched by the campus and used  
            by the campus to ensure administrative and faculty support of  
            the campus' plan.

          18)Specifies that money provided to a member of the California  
            Open Education Resources Council for purposes of the council  
            carrying out its duties shall not exceed $8,000 total and  
            shall be provided as a stipend.  Provides that no additional  
            money shall be provided for travel purposes.

          Need for the bill.  According to the author's office, "many  
          students and families are struggling to pay for a college  
          education.  One part of this problem is the rising cost of  
          textbooks.  Every year, students pay around $1,300 for textbooks  
          as prices have increased at over three times the rate of  
          inflation.  The cost of textbooks comprises 40 percent of  
          tuition at a two-year community college and 13 percent at a  
          four-year public school.  To afford these costs, students take  
          on more debt, work more hours, or make choices that hinder their  
          academic success."  This bill is intended to save college  
          students money by providing incentives for local campuses to  
          adopt OERs and reduce the cost of textbooks.

          Open educational resources.  OERs are educational materials that  
          include textbooks, research articles, videos, assessments, or  
          simulations that are either licensed under an open copyright  
          license or are in the public domain.  OERs provide no-cost  
          access and no-cost permission to revise, reuse, remix, or  
          redistribute the materials.  According to a 2012 policy brief by  
          the Center for American Progress and EDUCAUSE, digital OERs  
          offer many advantages over traditional textbooks, such as  
          allowing students and faculty to access textbooks and related  
          materials for free online or the purchase of hardcopies that are  
          more affordable than traditional textbooks.  They also enable  
          faculty to customize learning materials to suit their course  
          objectives and can provide students with a more flexible set of  
          tools that can contribute to a richer learning experience.


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          The California Open Education Resources Council reports that it  
          has thus far selected the 50 courses, identified more than 150  
          appropriate OERs for said courses, developed a standardized peer  
          review and approval process, and recruited faculty to conduct  
          the reviews.  As of March 2015, the California Open Education  
          Resources Council reports that reviews are completed for 10  
          courses, involving 34 OER textbooks.

          Cost of textbooks.  According to the College Board, the average  
          undergraduate student should budget between $1,200 and $1,300  
          for textbooks and supplies each year.  That figure is as much as  
          40 percent of tuition at a two-year community college and 13  
          percent at a four-year public institution.  A 2014 Student  
          Public Interest Research Group study found that 65 percent of  
          students skipped buying or renting a textbook because it was too  
          expensive, and 94 percent of those students felt that in doing  
          so, that would hurt their grade in a course.  Additionally,  
          almost half of the students reported that the cost of textbooks  
          impacted how many courses they were able to take at a time.  

          Incentives for faculty.  One could argue the bill is unnecessary  
          since faculty already have the ability to adopt OERs.  The  
          author's office indicates that the main hurdles preventing the  
          adoption of OERs include lack of time for faculty to develop  
          them or to adapt their classes, lack of information on currently  
          available OERs, and lack of technological support for faculty.   
          According to a presentation by faculty and administrators  
          working on the development and implementation of Multimedia  
          Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching,  
          professors are not adopting OERs quickly because they do not  
          know what is available or believe it will be difficult to do.   
          The bill seeks to address these hurdles by leveraging existing  
          funds to provide the time and support for faculty to adopt OERs.  
           Specifically, the bill provides yearly benchmark incentives to  
          accelerate the rate of adoption at local campuses.

          Source of funding.  SB 1052 (Steinberg, Chapter 621, Statutes of  
          2012) established the California OER 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 shall be 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  


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          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 nonstate funds.  This bill  
          proposes to utilize unspent funds from this appropriation for  
          its purposes.
          FISCAL EFFECT:   Appropriation:    No          Fiscal  
          Com.:YesLocal:   No

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee, the expansion  
          of the use of previously appropriated funds will allow  
          expenditure of approximately $4 million in unspent funds from  
          the initial appropriation.  

          SUPPORT:   (Verified8/27/15)

          California State Student Association (source)
          Academic Senate for California Community Colleges
          California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office
          California State University
          Cerritos Community College District
          Community College League of California

          OPPOSITION:   (Verified8/27/15)

          None received

          ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  78-0, 6/4/15
          AYES:  Achadjian, Alejo, Travis Allen, Baker, Bigelow, Bloom,  
            Bonilla, Bonta, Brough, Brown, Burke, Calderon, Campos, Chang,  
            Chau, Chávez, Chiu, Chu, Cooley, Cooper, Dababneh, Daly, Dodd,  
            Eggman, Frazier, Beth Gaines, Gallagher, Cristina Garcia,  
            Eduardo Garcia, Gatto, Gipson, Gomez, Gonzalez, Gordon, Gray,  
            Grove, Hadley, Harper, Roger Hernández, Irwin, Jones,  
            Jones-Sawyer, Kim, Lackey, Levine, Linder, Lopez, Low,  
            Maienschein, Mathis, Mayes, McCarty, Medina, Melendez, Mullin,  
            Nazarian, Obernolte, O'Donnell, Olsen, Patterson, Perea,  


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            Quirk, Rendon, Ridley-Thomas, Rodriguez, Salas, Santiago,  
            Steinorth, Mark Stone, Thurmond, Ting, Wagner, Waldron, Weber,  
            Wilk, Williams, Wood, Atkins
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Dahle, Holden

          Prepared by:Lenin Del Castillo / ED. / (916) 651-4105
          8/30/15 19:11:05

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