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:  9/9/15 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, the Open  
          Educational Resources Adoption Incentive Program incentivize  
          increased adoption of open educational resources at campuses of  
          the California Community Colleges (CCC) and the California State  
          University (CSU).

          Senate Floor Amendments of 9/9/15 clarify that the funds  
          reappropriated for the Open Educational Resources Adoption  
          Incentive Program do not require matching private funds.   


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          Existing law:

          1)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 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  


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            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  
            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,  
            housed, produced, and otherwise found appropriate pursuant to  
            the California Open Education Resources Council and the  
            California Digital Open Source Library.  

          2)Establishes the Open Educational Resources Adoption Incentive  
            Program and provides that the funds appropriated pursuant to  
            Education Code § 69999.6 are available for its purposes,  
            including faculty professional development, professional  
            development for staff, OER curation activities, curriculum  
            modification and requisite release time for faculty, and  
            technology support, as specified.

          3)Provides that the funds appropriated for the program shall not  
            be used for direct compensation for faculty members who adopt  


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          4)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  

          5)Requires a local academic senate of a campus to adopt a local  
            resolution and submit a plan, as specified, in collaboration  
            with students and campus administration that describes  
            evidence of the faculty's commitment and readiness to  
            effectively use grant funds to support faculty adoption of  
            OERs.  Among other requirements, the plan shall include the  
            number of academic departments expected to be involved, the  
            number of course sections in which OERs will be adopted, and  
            the percentage of cost savings for students anticipated for  
            each of these course sections.  

          6)Requires the plan to identify the amount of the grant  
            requested and provides that the amount shall not be greater  
            than $50,000.  Requires the plan to commit to achieving  
            greater than 30 percent cost savings in at least 10 course  
            sections, and specifies how the savings are to be calculated.

          7)Provides that grant applicants may submit the resolution and  
            the plan developed to the California Open Education Resources  
            Council as its application for an initial grant no later than  
            June 30, 2016.  Requires the California Open Education  
            Resources Council to make an initial grant to an applicant  
            within 60 days if the applicant has satisfied all requirements  
            and provides that it may award up to 100 initial grants.  If  
            the total amount requested is equal to or less than $2 million  
            dollars, the California Open Education Resources Council shall  
            make grants for each approved application based on the amount  
            requested.  If the total amount requested exceeds $2 million,  
            the California Open Education Resources Council shall make  
            grants for the full amount requested in approved applications  
            on a competitive basis based on the strength of the evidence  
            provided of faculty commitment to the adoption of OERs.


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          8)Provides that each approved application shall be submitted to  
            the Chancellor of the California State University within 30  
            days, who shall then award the grants to recipients.  Allows  
            administrative support to be provided, as specified. 

          9)Provides that no later than June 30, 2018, a campus may apply  
            for a bonus grant equal to the amount of its initial grant and  
            shall include evidence that the campus has met or exceeded  
            total cost savings of greater than 30 percent for the required  
            number of course sections specified in the approved plan for  
            the campus' initial grant in the 2017-18 academic year.   
            Allows a campus to compute the total cost savings for each  
            course section.  Requires the bonus grants to be used to  
            further the goals of the campus' approved plan for its initial  

          10)Provides that if the total amount requested for bonus grants  
            exceeds the total amount of funds available, the California  
            Open Educational Resources Council shall award the grants on a  
            competitive basis for the full amount based on the overall  
            percentage savings achieved by the initial plan in the courses  
            covered by the plan.

          11)Requires the California Open Online Library for Education, in  
            consultation with the Intersegmental Committee of Academic  
            Senates, to report to the Legislature before September 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 students. 

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

          13)Reappropriates $3 million of the funds appropriated pursuant  
            to Education Code § 69999.6 to the Chancellor of the  
            California State University without regard to fiscal year, for  
            allocation for the Open Educational Resources Adoption  
            Incentive Program.  Allows up to $200,000 to be used for  
            administrative costs and up to $27,000 to be used for stipends  


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            to members of the California Open Education Resources Council,  
            as specified.

          14)Clarifies that the funds reappropriated for the Open  
            Educational Resources Adoption Incentive Program do not  
            require matching private funds.   

          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.

          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  


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          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  
          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.


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          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 $3 million in unspent funds from  
          the initial appropriation.  

          SUPPORT:   (Verified9/9/15)

          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:   (Verified9/9/15)

          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,  
            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


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          9/10/15 23:15:35

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