Today's Law As Amended

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AB-403 Fair Access to College Textbooks Act.(2021-2022)

As Amends the Law Today


 Chapter 6.1 (commencing with Section 66420) is added to Part 40 of Division 5 of Title 3 of the Education Code, to read:

CHAPTER  6.1. Fair Access to College Textbooks Act
 This chapter shall be known, and may be cited, as the Fair Access to College Textbooks Act.
 For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:
(a) “Automatic charge for instructional materials” means a charge assessed to a student by an institution of higher education, or entity authorized by the institution, on the basis of the student’s enrollment in a course or program for the purpose of providing access to instructional materials for such course or program. “Automatic charge for instructional materials” does not include tuition.
(b) “Independent institution of higher education” has the same meaning as in Section 66010.
(c) “Institution of higher education” means a campus of the California State University, the California Community Colleges, the University of California, an independent institution of higher education, and a private postsecondary educational institution.
(d) “Instructional materials” means content in any medium or combination of media used or intended to be used for conveying information to a student in an educational context. “Instructional materials” includes, but is not limited to, a book, supplementary material, computer software, magnetic media, DVD, CD-ROM, computer courseware, online subscription, streaming videos, or other means of conveying content to the student or otherwise contributing to the learning process through electronic means. The term also includes packages or bundles of multiple instructional materials.
(e) “Private postsecondary educational institution” has the same meaning as in Section 94858.
(f) “Student” means both full-time and part-time undergraduate students.
 (a) A campus of the California Community Colleges, the California State University, an independent institution of higher education, or a private postsecondary educational institution shall not, and each campus of the University of California is requested not to, assess an automatic charge for instructional materials to a student, or enter into an agreement with a book publisher or other entity to assess the charge, unless all of the following conditions are met:
(1) The automatic charge for instructional materials assessed to each student is less than the price at which a student could acquire the same or similar instructional materials in a similar format, in similar condition, and with no less restrictive rental or digital access terms, if any, from any other source generally available to the student.
(2) The instructional materials assigned for a course are made available no later than the first day of the term to each student who enrolls in the course at least seven days before the first day of the term, and no later than seven days after enrollment for those who enroll thereafter.
(3) The institution of higher education adopts a policy under which a student is automatically charged only if the student opts in to having the cost of instructional materials included in the fees automatically charged to the student for enrollment in a course, and provides that a student may not be required to opt in for the automatic charge in order to participate in, or to successfully complete, the course.
(4) The full amount of the automatic charge is disclosed in, or linked from, the listing for the course or course section in the institution’s online course schedule, and the amount is specified separately from any other charges associated with the course or course section.
(b) This section only applies to a contract entered into or renewed on or after January 1, 2022.