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AB-2385 Public postsecondary education: textbooks.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 08/28/2018 09:00 PM
AB2385:v94#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 2385
CHAPTER 214

An act to amend Section 66406 of the Education Code, relating to college instructional materials.

[ Approved by Governor  August 27, 2018. Filed with Secretary of State  August 27, 2018. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2385, Cunningham. Public postsecondary education: textbooks.
The Donahoe Higher Education Act authorizes the activities of the 4 segments of the postsecondary education system in the state. These segments include the 3 public postsecondary segments: the University of California, which is administered by the Regents of the University of California, the California State University, which is administered by the Trustees of the California State University, and the California Community Colleges, which is administered by the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. Private and independent postsecondary educational institutions constitute the remaining segment.
Provisions of the Donahoe Higher Education Act apply to the University of California only to the extent that the regents act, by resolution, to make them applicable.
Existing law urges textbook publishers to take specified actions aimed at informing students about, and reducing the amounts that students pay for, college textbooks. Among those actions, existing law urges textbook publishers to provide to faculty and departments considering textbook orders, and to post on their Internet Web sites, among other things, an explanation of how the newest edition is different from previous editions.
This bill would instead urge textbook publishers to post in a prominent location on their Internet Web sites, among other things, a detailed description of how the newest edition differs from the previous edition, as specified.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 66406 of the Education Code is amended to read:

66406.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares that the production and pricing of college textbooks deserves a high level of attention from educators and lawmakers because they impact the quality and affordability of higher education.
(b) Consistent with Section 133 of Title I of the federal Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1015b), the state urges textbook publishers to do all of the following:
(1) “Unbundle” the instructional materials to give students the option of buying textbooks, CD-ROMs, and workbooks “à la carte” or without additional materials.
(2) Post in a prominent location on the publishers’ Internet Web sites, where it is readily available to college faculty, students, and departments, both of the following types of information:
(A) A list of all of the different products they sell, including both bundled and unbundled options, and the net price of each product.
(B) A detailed description of how the newest edition differs from the previous edition, including an initial summary of content changes such as reordered, renamed, added, or deleted chapters. The description shall detail changes in each chapter, including but not limited to, additions, subtractions, and revisions. The description shall apply to changes in text, illustrations, statistics, graphics, and any other component of the chapter. The state urges online textbook sellers to add to their Internet Web sites links to the publishers’ descriptions established pursuant to this subparagraph.
(3) Give preference to paper or online supplements to current editions rather than producing entirely new editions.
(4) Disclose to faculty the length of time they intend to produce the current edition so that professors know how long they can use the same book.
(5) Provide to faculty a free copy of each textbook selected by faculty for use in the classroom for placement on reserve in the campus library.
(c) The Trustees of the California State University and the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges shall, and the Regents of the University of California are requested to, accomplish all of the following:
(1) Work with the academic senates of each respective segment to do all of the following:
(A) Encourage faculty to give consideration to the least costly practices in assigning textbooks, varying by discipline, such as adopting the least expensive edition when the educational content is equal, and using a selected textbook as long as it is educationally sound, as determined by the appropriate faculty.
(B) Encourage faculty to disclose both of the following to students:
(i) How new editions of textbooks are different from the previous editions.
(ii) The cost to students for textbooks selected for use in each course.
(C) Review procedures for faculty to inform college and university bookstores of textbook selections.
(D) Encourage faculty to work closely with publishers and college and university bookstores in creating bundles and packages if they are economically sound and deliver cost savings to students, and if bundles and packages have been requested by faculty. Students should have the option of purchasing textbooks and other instructional materials that are “unbundled.”
(2) Require college and university bookstores to work with the academic senates of each respective campus to do both of the following:
(A) Review issues relative to timelines and processes involved in ordering and stocking selected textbooks.
(B) Work closely with faculty or publishers, or both, to create bundles and packages that are economically sound and deliver cost savings to students.
(3) Encourage college and university bookstores to disclose retail textbook costs, on a per course basis, to faculty, and make this information otherwise publicly available.
(4) Encourage campuses to provide as many forums for students to have access to as many used books as possible, including, but not necessarily limited to, all of the following:
(A) Implementing campus-sponsored textbook rental programs.
(B) Encouraging students to consider on-campus and online book swaps so that students may buy and sell used books and set their own prices.
(C) Encouraging students to consider student book lending programs.
(D) Encouraging college and university bookstores that offer book buyback programs to actively promote and publicize these programs.
(E) Encouraging the establishment of textbook rental programs and any other appropriate approaches to providing high-quality materials that are affordable to students.
(d) It is the intent of the Legislature to encourage private colleges and universities to work with their respective academic senates and to encourage faculty to consider practices in selecting textbooks that will result in the lowest costs to students.