BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    





          SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          SB 1359 (Block) - Public postsecondary education:  education  
          materials:  textbooks
          
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          |Version: April 12, 2016         |Policy Vote: ED. 9 - 0          |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: Yes                    |
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          |Hearing Date: April 25, 2016    |Consultant: Jillian Kissee      |
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          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File.


          
          Bill  
          Summary:  This bill requires each campus of the California  
          Community Colleges (CCC) and the California State University  
          (CSU), and requests each campus of the University of California  
          (UC), to clearly identify in each published schedule of classes,  
          (1) the most accurate retail price information, and (2) the most  
          accurate estimated total costs of required and recommended  
          textbooks and supplemental material for each course, as  
          specified.


          Fiscal  
          Impact:  Total costs to the state ranging from mid to high  
          hundreds of thousands.








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           The CCC would likely incur mandate costs ranging in the low to  
            mid hundreds of thousands to update the course schedule three  
            times per year.  Costs would vary by district depending upon  
            the size and resources at the campus.  (Proposition 98)

           The CSU anticipates a one-time cost of $100,000 to update a  
            management system.  Ongoing costs to each campus to update the  
            course schedule three times per year would require staff time  
            driving costs likely in the high tens of thousands to low  
            hundreds of thousands.  (General Fund)

           The UC anticipates costs associated with this bill to be minor  
            and absorbable assuming that updates can be done in future  
            course schedules rather than having to update and reprint  
            existing ones.


          Background:  Existing federal law, the Higher Education Opportunity Act  
          requires each institution of higher education (IHE) that  
          receives federal financial assistance, to the maximum extent  
          possible, to:

             1.   Disclose, on the IHE's online course schedule, the  
               International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and retail price  
               information of required and recommended textbooks and  
               supplemental materials for each course listed in the course  
               schedule.

             2.   Include on the IHE's written course schedule a notice  
               that textbook information is available on the IHE's online  
               course schedule, and the web link to that schedule.

          Federal law also allows for alternative requirements if  
          disclosure of the above information is not available or not  
          practicable.  Federal law also requires IHEs to make available  
          to college bookstores that are operated or affiliated with the  
          institution the most accurate information available regarding  
          the IHE's course schedule for the subsequent academic period and  
          the information above for each course or class offered for the  
          subsequent academic period.


          Existing state law, the College Textbook Affordability Act,  
          establishes the Open Educational Resources Adoption Incentive  
          Program to incentivize faculty to accelerate the adoption of  







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          lower cost, high-quality, open educational resources at the CCC  
          and CSU.  (Education Code  67420)

          Further existing state law establishes the California Digital  
          Open Source Library, administered by the CSU in coordination  
          with the CCC to house open source materials while providing  
          web-based access for students, faculty and staff to find, adopt,  
          utilize, or modify course materials for little or no cost.   
          (Education Code  66408)

          Existing state law also establishes the California Open  
          Education Resources Council and requires the council to be  
          responsible for, among other things, developing 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 are to be  
          developed or acquired. (Education Code  66409)

          In addition to existing state efforts to reduce costs to  
          students regarding acquiring necessary textbooks, the 2016-17  
          Governor's Budget proposes $5 million in one-time funds to  
          create "Zero-Textbook-Cost Degrees" at the CCC.  These degrees  
          would allow students to complete a degree entirely by taking  
          courses that use only free instructional materials.  Under the  
          proposal, community colleges would compete for grants up to  
          $500,000 each to offer a zero-textbook-cost associate degree,  
          certificate, or credential program.  


           Proposed Law:  
            This bill requires each CCC and CSU campus, and requests each  
          UC campus to, clearly disclose in the campus course schedule  
          both of the following:
             1.   The most accurate retail price information of each  
               required and recommended textbook and supplemental material  
               for each course listed in the course schedule, consistent  
               with the requirements of the federal Higher Education  
               Opportunity Act of 2008.


             2.   The most accurate estimated total costs of required and  
               recommended textbooks and supplemental materials if  
               purchased at the campus bookstore for each course offered  
               by the campus.








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          Related  
          Legislation:  AB 1914 (Bonilla) requires the CSU and the CCC,  
          and requests the UC, to adopt policies for their respective  
          segments regarding when it is acceptable for a faculty member to  
          require students to purchase academic materials, including, but  
          not necessarily limited to, textbooks and access codes.  AB 1914  
          is pending in the Assembly Higher Education Committee.
          SB 216 (Liu, 2009) required the CSU and the CCC to post a list  
          of required textbooks for each course on the internet, including  
          the price charged for each textbook, and required each  
          instructor or academic department to confirm the intent to use  
          each individual item sold as part of a bundled package of  
          instructional materials before the final adoption of the  
          material.  SB 216 was held in the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee.


          Staff  
          Comments:  Beyond the requirements of federal law, this bill  
          requires price disclosure in all published course schedules,  
          including any printed schedules.  This bill also requires  
          disclosure of "total costs" of required and recommended  
          textbooks and materials for each course offered by campus.  It  
          is anticipated that course schedules will have to be updated  
          three times per year as courses and associated materials  
          fluctuate frequently.  To the extent the requirements of this  
          bill are interpreted to require price information reflecting  
          every option available to students, including renting course  
          materials, buying them used, buying them new, or accessing them  
          online this could increase staff time needed to include a  
          comprehensive price listing in published course schedules. 


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