Open educational resources (OER) has increasingly become a go-to strategy for legislators seeking to make college education more affordable and effective. More than half of all U.S. states have considered OER legislation in past years, and the trend continues as more leaders recognize the benefits of open educational resources and practices.
OER-Related Policy Tracking: Current Legislative Session
Updated weekly during the legislative season, this page tracks the latest state-by-state policy activity relevant to the SPARC community. Click states highlighted in red to view current activity, and see the list below for existing policies. Note that page is for tracking purposes only and being listed does not imply endorsement.
Note: Some tracked legislation may be from a previous legislative session. New bills are added on a weekly basis. See date of last action for current status.
Enacted OER-Related Policies
Click on a state name to expand the list of OER-related policies that have been enacted in past years. For the purposes of this list, policies include any law, regulation, appropriation/funding allocation, or endorsement made by a U.S. state government that relates to open educational resources (OER). If you are aware of a state policy that is not tracked on this list, contact us at [email protected].
- SB 265 (2015) created the University of Arkansas System eVersity (an entirely online institution of higher education). This bill requires that open educational resources be utilized to support course delivery to students.
- SB 101 (2023): Appropriates $3M to the California Community Colleges to provide textbooks or digital course content to incarcerated students and encourages the CCCs to use OER when possible.
- SB 117 (2023): Provides a $650M block grant to the California Community Colleges to mitigate community college student learning loss related to COVID-19 impacts. The legislature intends for the funds to be used on professional development, technology infrastructure, developing open education resources and zero-textbook-cost degrees, and supporting the mental health and wellness needs of students and staff.
- AB 607 (2023): Makes changes to the course marking statute by adding a requirement that institutions prominently display the estimated course materials costs for no less than 75 percent of the classes listed in the online course schedule.
- AB 132 (2021): Postsecondary education trailer bill. Among other appropriations, provides $115 million on a one time basis to community college districts to develop zero-textbook-cost degrees using open education resources.
- AB 128 (2021): Appropriations bill. Among other provisions, provides up to $3 million to provide textbooks or digital course content to inmates who are enrolled in one or more California Community College courses. Colleges are encouraged to use open educational resources first.
- AB 2385 (2018): Existing state law urges textbook publishers to take specified actions aimed at reducing the amounts that students pay for textbooks, including providing to faculty and departments considering textbook orders a list of all the different products the publisher sells. Amendment on 3/19/2018: The amendment would urge textbook publishers to post in a prominent location on their Internet websites, among other things, a detailed description of how the newest edition differs from the previous edition. The bill would authorize the Assembly Higher Education Committee and the Senate Committee on Education to field complaints from students about textbooks for which the publishers’ websites do not contain the described information and would authorize either committee, or both committees to forward the most egregious cases to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee for investigation.
- SB 840 (2018): This higher education budget bill includes a provision that provides up to $3,000,000 funding in each fiscal year to the California Community Colleges to provide textbooks or digital course content to inmates under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation who are enrolled in one or more California Community College courses. To the extent possible, community college districts providing textbooks or digital course content are encouraged to first use open educational resources.
- AB 1809 (2018): Budget Act of 2018: Among other provisions, this bill would appropriate $6,000,000 from the General Fund to the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges for the 2018-19 fiscal year to support the development of, and expansion of the use of, open educational resources for the California Community Colleges. The bill would require the Academic Senate for the California Community Colleges to submit a report, including specified data related to the progress of supporting and expanding the use of open educational resources pursuant to the bill. This bill also establishes the California Online Community College and requires the college to utilize and leverage the programs and activities of the chancellor’s office, including the Zero-Textbook-Cost Degree Grant Program and Open Educational Resources.
- AB 97/SB 72 (2017): an appropriations bill that allows funding to be used for increased services for high-needs students, which may include the development of open educational resources and zero-textbook-cost degrees that reduce costs for students. Community college districts utilizing resources for this purpose are encouraged to first develop open educational resources and zero-textbook-cost degrees for courses that are transferable to other schools within the state.
- SB 1359 (2016): Requires each campus of the California Community Colleges and the California State University, and would request each campus of the University of California, to identify in the online version of the campus course schedule its courses that exclusively use digital course materials, as specified, and communicate to students that the course materials for these courses are free of charge and therefore not required to be purchased.
- AB 1602 (2016): Among other provisions, establishes the Zero-Textbook-Cost Degree Grant Program, which requires the California community colleges chancellor to award grants to community college districts that meet specified criteria for developing and implementing associate degrees and career technical education certificate programs earned entirely by completing courses that eliminate conventional textbook costs by using alternative instructional materials and methodologies. Zero-textbook-cost degrees must be implemented by the. 2018-19 academic year, and the chancellor must submit a report by June 30, 2019.
- AB 798 (2015): Creates the Open Educational Resources Adoption Incentive Fund to provide incentives and reward campus, staff, and faculty efforts to accelerate the adoption of open educational resources. The purpose of this bill was to reduce textbook costs for college students and encourage faculty to accelerate the adoption of lower cost, high-quality open educational resources.
- SB 1052 (2012): Established the California Open Education Resources Council. The bill required the Council to determine a list of 50 lower division courses in the public postsecondary segments for which high-quality, affordable, digital open source textbooks and related materials would be developed or acquired. The bill required the council to review and approve developed open source materials, promote strategies for production, access, and use, and regularly solicit and consider, feedback from each of the statewide student associations.
- SB 1053 (2012): Established the California Digital Open Source Library, under the administration of the California State University, in coordination with the California Community Colleges, 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. The bill required that materials in the library bear a creative commons attribution license that allows others to use, distribute, and create derivative works based upon the digital material while still allowing the authors or creators of the material to receive credit for their efforts.
- #GoOpen State: California joined the U.S. Department of Education’s #GoOpen campaign for openly licensed educational resources in K-12 education. To become a #GoOpen State, states meet a set of criteria including adding OER into the statewide education technology strategy.
- SB 118 (2023): Continued appropriations for the Colorado OER Council and associated activities pursuant to SB 215 (2021) which provided $1M in appropriations for the Colorado OER Council for each of the next five fiscal years.
- SB 215 (2021): Use Of Open Educational Resources In Higher Education. Provides $1 million in appropriations for the Colorado OER Council for each of the next five fiscal years. Updates the definition of OER. Last Action: Signed by Governor (2021-05-05)
- HB18-1331 (2018): Concerning expanding the use of open educational resources at public institutions of higher education, and, in connection therewith, creating the Colorado open educational resources council, creating a grant program to support the creation and use of open educational resources, and making a $660K appropriation.
- SB 258 (2017): Creates the open educational resources council in the Department of Higher Education. The Department is required to contract with an entity to evaluate the existing use of OER by public institutions of higher education and consider the options for and obstacles to increasing the use of OER. The council must facilitate the work of the contracting entity, and, taking into account the findings of the contracting entity, recommend initiatives to expand the use of OER, resulting in cost savings and other educational benefits for students enrolled
- HB 6771 (2023): Implements the Governor’s recommendations to (1) redefine “open educational resource”, (2) require the development of a model policy to adopt common definitions and data collection methods, (3) require a biennial, rather than annual, report concerning use of open educational resources, and (4) add a part-time staff position.
- HB 6941 (2023): Implements the Governor’s recommendations including making the Connecticut Open Educational Resource Coordinating Council part of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities and requiring the council to develop model OER policies for institutions of higher education to adopt.
- HB 6402 (2021): Requires the Office of Higher Education to study issues related to higher education. Among other provisions, updates existing statute relating to the Open Educational Resources Council to change a reporting deadline.
- HB 7424 (2019): Broad budget bill. Includes Sec. 174 to establish the Connecticut OER Coordinating Council under the Office of Higher Education. This council shall identify high-impact courses for which open educational resources will be developed, converted, or adopted. The council would also establish a program of competitive grants for faculty members of institutions of higher education in the state for the development, conversion, or adoption of OER for high-impact courses. The council shall also promote strategies for the production, use and access of OER, among other actions. Fiscal note specifies $75,000 for grants. OER language was originally introduced as HB 7162.
- HB 6117 (2015): Established an open-source textbook pilot program to assess the use of high-quality digital open-source textbooks and to promote the use of those textbooks. Requires a report with analysis of the cost savings to students for courses using an open-source textbook instead of a traditional college-level textbook and any potential barriers to the effective use of open-source textbooks by students and faculty. The bill also established a task force to study best practices re: open educational resources.
- #GoOpen State: Connecticut joined the U.S. Department of Education’s #GoOpen campaign for openly licensed educational resources in K-12 education. To become a #GoOpen State, states meet a set of criteria including adding OER into the statewide education technology strategy.
- #GoOpen State: Delaware joined the U.S. Department of Education’s #GoOpen campaign for openly licensed educational resources in K-12 education. The state developed the Delaware OER Strategy to meet the goal of developing a repository of quality open educational resources that have been thoroughly vetted and aligned with Delaware standards. The state also mentioned OER in its ESSA implementation plan.
- HB 5001 (2022): Established the Student Open Access Resources (SOAR) Grant Program and Repository and requires each Florida College System institution and state university to post prominently in its course registration system and on its website, as early as is feasible, but at least 45 days before the first day of class for each term, courses that utilize open educational resources and have zero textbook costs as indicated by an icon next to each eligible course. A Zero Textbook Cost Indicator developed by the Florida Postsecondary Academic Library Network may be used for this purpose. This language was initially part of HB 5201.
- SB 72 (2020): This bill amends existing law to require innovative pricing techniques and payment options to include an opt-out provision (existing law requires an opt-in provision) for students and may be approved only if there is documented evidence that the options reduce the cost of textbooks and instructional materials for students taking a course. SPARC opposed this change.
- SB 6 (2019): This bill would delete the requirement in statute that the Florida College System institution and state university board of trustees examine the cost of textbooks and instructional materials each semester for all general education courses offered. This section was set to be repealed on July 1, 2018, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
- SB 190 (2019): This bill would require the Board of Governors to develop a training program for trustees which addresses the role of university board of trustees in governing institutional resources and protecting the public interest. This would require training related to establishing policies that promote college affordability, including ensuring the costs of university fees, textbooks, and instructional materials are minimized whenever possible.
- HB 7019 (2016): Each Florida College System Institution and state university shall adopt textbook and instructional materials affordability policies, procedures and guidelines in order to minimize the costs of textbooks. This includes course instructors using open-access textbooks, where possible and instructors are encouraged to develop, adapt, and review open-access textbooks especially in high-demand general education courses.
- Affordable Learning Georgia (2014-Present): Affordable Learning Georgia a University System of Georgia initiative to promote student success by supporting the implementation of affordable alternatives to expensive commercial textbooks, particularly Open Educational Resources (OER) and open textbooks. The program was funded by appropriations from the legislature in 2014 and subsequent years.
- #GoOpen State: Georgia joined the U.S. Department of Education’s #GoOpen campaign for openly licensed educational resources in K-12 education. To become a #GoOpen State, states meet a set of criteria including adding OER into the statewide education technology strategy.
- SB 250 (2023): Appropriates $3 million for grants to academic libraries for Open Education Resources.
- HB 2878 (2021): Requires the Board of Higher Education and the Illinois Community College Board to create the Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity. Among other provisions, the Consortium is directed to create an open educational resources library if if deemed beneficial and feasible. Last Action: 2021-05-31 – Passed Both Houses.
- HB 0332 (2021): Amends the Board of Higher Education Act. Provides that each public institution of higher education shall study and issue a report on the cost-saving methods and practices utilized by the public institution for improving students’ timely access to required course materials and the affordability of required course materials
- HB 318 (2021): Bill appropriating state funds to the State Board of Education for community colleges. The attached fiscal note designates $1,000,000 for a zero textbook cost program.
- Instructional Materials Access & Affordability Policy (2021): State Board of Education Policy requiring all public 4-year institutions in the state to develop plans to increase access and affordability, using OER where possible. The policy includes a definition of OER as well.
- COVID-19 Relief Funds (2020): The Iowa Department of Education allocated $870,000 of the state’s Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funding, authorized by the CARES Act, to support capacity-building and professional development grants to ensure equitable access to high-quality online postsecondary education. Institutions may seek reimbursement for related projects and activities including developing, curating, and supporting the adoption of open educational resources.
- HB 644 (2023): Establishes the Affordable Digital Textbook and Learning Materials Pilot Program through the Louisiana Board of Regents to provide open and no-cost digital textbooks, study tools, online homework, and open educational resources that can be used to improve student outcomes.
- SB 117 (2019): This bill would require the Board of Regents, through the Louisiana Library Network, in collaboration with the state’s public postsecondary education institutions shall develop and implement a plan to increase the development, acquisition, availability, and accessibility of affordable textbooks and other educational resources for postsecondary students. At a minimum the plan should include a list of high-impact courses to be prioritized for support for the conversion of course materials to AER and OER, a sustainable digital repository which shall function as a publicly accessible database for the collection and storage of OER, among other requirements.
- HCR 80 (2016): established the Virtual Library Study Commission to conduct a study and make recommendations regarding the development of a statewide virtual library – OERs representing the development of shared online accessible textbook collections, can bring educational costs down considerably while making efficient use of tax dollars
- HB 318 (2020): Textbook Transparency Act of 2020 – This bill requires each constituent institution of higher education in the University System of Maryland to develop a method to clearly and conspicuously show students in the online course catalog which courses use free digital materials and may provide access to certain low-cost print materials. Further, this provide that certain free digital materials include certain resources and be equally accessible and usable by individuals with disabilities and free digital materials may include openly licensed educational resources.
- SB 424/HB 967 (2017): includes $100,000 in general funds for a grant for the Maryland Open Source Textbook Initiative at the University System of Maryland. These funds may be used to: award grants to support and promote the creation of openly licensed educational resources and reimburse expenses incurred in operating the Open Source Textbook Initiative.
- Performance Incentive Grants (2018): The FY2019 call for applications for the state’s Performance Incentive Fund (PIF) explicitly listed OER as a possible avenue to achieving one of the three strategic goals. The PIF program had awarded several grants for OER projects in previous fiscal years.
- Strategic Initiative (2018): The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education launched a strategic initiative entitled Massachusetts Open Education – Achieving Access for All, a collaborative project focused on building capacity for open educational resources (OER) across the state. The initiative benefits the 28 public higher education institutions, and includes holding training events and a statewide OER landscape assessment.
- H4200 (2016): Language was inserted into the FY 2017 appropriations bill authorizing the Department of Higher Education to establish suggested guidelines and protocols in accordance with 34 CFR 668.164(c)(2) to encourage and assist colleges and universities with the implementation of programs which reduce the cost of textbooks and other educational materials. This was language was circulated by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) to legislators in many different states.
- #GoOpen State: Massachusetts joined the U.S. Department of Education’s #GoOpen campaign for openly licensed educational resources in K-12 education. To become a #GoOpen State, states meet a set of criteria including adding OER into the statewide education technology strategy.
- SB 173 (2023): Appropriates $9.3M for the Michigan Virtual University to operate the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute. The Institute is instructed to provide an internet-based platform that educators can use to create student-centric learning tools and resources for sharing in the state’s open educational resource repository and facilitate a user network that assists educators in using the content creation platform and state repository for open educational resources.
- HB 5579 (2018): Appropriates $7.4M for the Michigan Virtual University. Includes provision requiring that funds shall be used to provide leadership for the state’s system of virtual learning education by providing an internet-based platform that educators can use to create student-centric learning tools and resources for sharing in the state’s open educational resource repository and facilitate a user network that assists educators in using the content creation platform and state repository for open educational resources. As part of this initiative, the Michigan Virtual University shall work collaboratively with districts and intermediate districts to establish a plan to make available virtual resources that align to Michigan’s K-12 curriculum standards for use by students, educators, and parents.
- #GoOpen State: Michigan joined the U.S. Department of Education’s #GoOpen campaign for openly licensed educational resources in K-12 education. To become a #GoOpen State, states meet a set of criteria including adding OER into the statewide education technology strategy.
- HF 2073 (2023): Appropriates $1M in FY24 and $1M in FY25 to implement the Z-degree program under section 136F.305 of Minnesota Statutes.
- SF 2415 (2019): Omnibus higher education appropriation bill that includes a provision that would require the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities to develop a program to expand the use of open textbooks in college and university courses. The system office must provide opportunities for faculty to identify, review, adapt, author, and adopt open textbooks and develop incentives for academic departments to use open textbooks within their programs. This bill would require the programs developed under this subdivision to be implemented pursuant to faculty collective bargaining agreements that govern academic freedom and textbook choice. Further $100,000 in FY 2020 and $100,000 in FY 2021 are appropriated for the open textbook program.
- SF 3656 (2018): This education appropriations bill includes a new section that would require the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities to develop a plan to increase the use of affordable textbooks and instructional materials. The plan must establish a goal for the percentage of all courses offered at state colleges and universities that will use affordable textbooks and instructional materials.
- HF 2749 (2016): $100,000 appropriation for the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities for programs on system campuses that promote adoption of open textbooks. Programs must focus on review, creation, and promotion of new or existing open textbooks and on saving money for students while meeting the academic needs of faculty. An additional $100,000 one-time appropriation is provided to expand and promote the open textbook library to faculty across the state.
- SF 1236 (2013): Omnibus higher education appropriations bill. Includes reducing the cost of textbooks through OER as one of several performance goals to release funding for the MnSCU system.
- LB 675 (2019): This bill amends existing law to require the Education Technology Center to evaluate Internet-based digital education courses as well as open education resources.
► New Jersey
- S 768 (2019): This bill requires institutions of higher education to develop open textbook plan. Within 180 days of the effective date of this bill, an institution of higher education, after consultation with faculty members at the institution, shall submit a plan to the Secretary of Higher Education to expand the use of open textbooks and commercial digital learning materials in order to achieve savings for students enrolled in the institution. As amended and reported to the Committee, this bill is identical to the Assembly Committee Substitute for Assembly Bills A 327, A1149, and A3254.
► New Mexico
- SB 192 (2023): The legislature appropriated $100,000 to establish an open education resources pilot program, in which faculty may create or implement free, open-sourced textbooks and reduce the cost of course materials.
► New York
- State Budget (2017-2020): The final state budget includes an $8 million investment to provide open educational resources, including electronic-books, to students at SUNY and CUNY. At the state’s direction, SUNY and CUNY will use this funding to target high-enrollment courses, including general education, to maximize student savings. This funding was renewed in FY 2019.
► North Dakota
- HB 1358 (2017): This bill requires the legislative management to consider studying the use of open educational resources in the elementary and secondary school system. The study must include an analysis of potential cost savings for school districts and the department of public instruction, the availability of private sector partnerships to aid in the development, adoption, implementation, and funding of open educational resources, and the steps necessary to establish ND as a #GoOpen state with the USED.
- HR 1003 (2015): An act to provide appropriation for defraying the expenses of the North Dakota university system. Includes a one time appropriation for $110,000 for open education resource training for the 2015-2017 biennium.
- HCR 3009 (2013): A concurrent resolution directing the Legislative Management to study the use of open textbooks in the North Dakota University System, including options to develop partnerships with other states to use open textbooks.
- HCR 3013 (2013): A concurrent resolution urging the State Board of Higher Education and faculty members of North Dakota University System institutions to increase the use of open textbooks for academic courses in order to reduce the financial burden to higher education students.
- HB 49 (2017): requires that no later than June 30, 2018, all state institutions of higher education that are located in the same region of the state to enter into an agreement providing for the creation of a compact. This compact, among other things, shall identify, develop, and implement shared curriculum resources to promote educational pathways that minimize the time required to earn a degree. This may include curriculum delivered using open educational resources and online formats.
- HB 2693 (2022): Creates the Oklahoma Education Commission, which is charged with engaging multiple stakeholders in research, evaluation, and information sharing to conduct a study on how to improve the quality of instruction and learning through distance and remote modalities. Open education resources are one of five listed topic areas for the study.
- HB 2919 (2021): Requires each public university and community college to prominently display total costs of all required course materials and fees for no less than 75 percent of total courses offered by public university or community college. Requires annual reporting to Higher Education Coordinating Commission detailing compliance with the requirement.
- COVID-19 Relief Funds (2020): The state combined funds from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief and Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Funds, both authorized by the CARES Act, to create a Comprehensive Distance Learning Grant Program to address student needs and overcome barriers to distance learning. As part of the grant program’s “professional learning for educators” category, funds may be used to create OER.
- HB 2213 (2019): Requires community colleges and public universities to establish a textbook affordability plan. Requires plan to include measurable goals, how to best mitigate economic impact on bookstore revenue, process to advertise availability of courses that use low-cost or open resources, statement of support for academic freedom to select high-quality course material, and a process to inform faculty and instructors about low- or no-cost course materials. Requires at least one student to be included in plan development. Originally required listing of textbook information in course schedules, but this language was removed before passage.
- HB 2729 (2017): requires the Higher Education Coordinating Commission to work regularly with public universities and community colleges to analyze and evaluate effectiveness of previously adopted open educational resources and to increase number of open educational resources used in courses.
- HB 2871 (2015): established an open educational resources grant program within the Higher Education Coordinating Commission to encourage the use of low or no-cost open educational resources in Oregon’s post-secondary institutions of education. It also required that each public university and community college must prominently designate courses whose course materials exclusively consist of open or free textbooks or other low-cost or no-cost course materials.
- #GoOpen State: Oregon joined the U.S. Department of Education’s #GoOpen campaign for openly licensed educational resources in K-12 education. To become a #GoOpen State, states meet a set of criteria including adding OER into the statewide education technology strategy.
- COVID-19 Relief Funds (2020): The state Department of Education (PDE) established a new Open Educational Resources Grant Program (OER) funded by the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) established by the CARES Act of 2020. The fund will award $500,000 in grants for OER projects to decrease student course-related costs and increase opportunities to successfully complete educational requirements through high-quality virtual and distance learning.
► Rhode Island
- Rhode Island Open Textbook Initiative (2016-Present): On September 27th 2016, Governor Gina Raimondo announced a statewide Open Textbook Initiative challenging Rhode Island’s higher education institutions to reduce college costs by saving students $5 million over five years using open licensed textbooks. The Rhode Island Office of Innovation coordinates the Open Textbook Initiative in partnership with Rhode Island College’s Adams Library and Roger Williams University and with support from external partners. Funding for micro-grants is provided by Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner and the Office of Innovation. Note: No legislation is associated with this initiative.
- #GoOpen State: Rhode Island joined the U.S. Department of Education’s #GoOpen campaign for openly licensed educational resources in K-12 education. To become a #GoOpen State, states meet a set of criteria including adding OER into the statewide education technology strategy.
- HB 1027 (2021): Relating to the disclosure of certain information regarding textbooks and learning content management systems by certain institutions of higher education.
- COVID-19 Relief Funds (2020): The OER Course Development and Implementation Grant Program is a competitive program established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board with CARES Act funding provided to the state government. The program supports projects at Texas institutions to enhance quality in online course offerings and reduce the costs of educational materials though the development of new OER for online delivery and/or the redesign of courses using existing OER. Awards are up to $25,000 for development and up to $5,000 for implementation.
- HB 3652 (2019): This bill requires the state board to contract with a high-quality open educational resource repository to develop and maintain a web portal customized to meet the needs of individual institutions of higher education, students, and others who may benefit from access to open educational resources.
- HB 3650 (2019): This bill amends existing law and requires agreements between school districts and public institutions of higher education that provide dual credit programs to consider the use of free or low-cost open educational resources in courses offered under the program.
- SB 810 (2017): requires that each institution of higher education compile a course schedule indicating, among other things, whether the textbook required for each course is an open educational resource. Institutions shall make reasonable efforts to disseminate information to students, including the availability of courses and sections of courses that require or recommend only open educational resources. Further, this bill would establish the open educational resources grant program to encourage faculty at institutions to adopt and develop courses that use only open educational resources.
- HB 33 (2011): Requires institutions of higher education to make information about required and recommended textbooks for each course available to students and to disseminate information about available programs to assist with purchasing textbooks. Requires textbook publishers to provide information to faculty about textbook prices and revision information. Requires that publishers offer the components of textbook “bundles” for sale separately.
- HB 391 (2020): This bill amends the definition of textbook and expands the costs and materials provided by a school for which a fee may not be charged to students. Textbook is defined to mean “a hardcopy book or printed pages of instructional material, including a consumable workbook; or computer hardware, software, or digital content.” This new definition specifies that “textbook” does not include instructional equipment or instructional supplies.
- HB 2380 (2019): Requires the registrar or another appropriate employee of each public institution of higher education to identify conspicuously (i) in the online course catalogue or registration system or (ii) as soon as practicable after the necessary information becomes available each course for which the instructor exclusively uses no-cost course materials or low-cost course materials.
- HB 454 (2018): Requires the governing board of each public institution of higher education to develop guidelines for the adoption and use of low-cost and no-cost open educational resources in courses offered at such institution. Amended to permit institution to include guidelines for low-cost commercially published materials.
- HB 2262 (2017): Established the Online Virginia Network Authority and requires each public institution of higher education and each consortium of public institutions of higher education that offers online courses, online degree programs, or online credential programs to offer courses, degree programs, or credential programs through the Authority. The Authority shall, to the extent practicable, manage and reduce program costs by reducing textbook costs through open access.
- #GoOpen State: Virginia joined the U.S. Department of Education’s #GoOpen campaign for openly licensed educational resources in K-12 education. To become a #GoOpen State, states meet a set of criteria including adding OER into the statewide education technology strategy.
- SB 5187 (2023): Provides $300,000 for the the college of education to collaborate with teacher preparation programs and the office of the superintendent of public instruction to develop open access climate science educational curriculum for use in teacher preparation programs; $250,000 for open K-12 educational resources.
- SB5092 (2021): Making 2021-2023 fiscal biennium operating appropriations. Provides $600,000 over two years to the University of Washington college of education to develop open access climate science educational curriculum for use in teacher preparation programs. Earlier drafts provided funding for the state’s K-12 OER program, but was removed.
- HB 1119 (2021): Requires four-year institutions of higher education to notify students of courses that use open educational resources and low-cost instructional materials. Low-cost is defined as $50 or less. A similar requirement already applies to community and technical colleges.
- HB 1702 (2020): An Act Relating to Informing Students of Low-Cost Course Materials for Community and Technical College Courses – this bill amends existing law to require community and technical colleges to report whether a course uses low-cost required instructional materials (meaning less than $50), in addition to existing statute to specify a course may use open educational resources.
- HB 1561 (2018): Requires the student achievement council to administer the open educational resources grant pilot program for the four-year institutions of higher education. Requires the state institute for public policy to conduct a study on the cost of textbooks and course materials and the use of OER at four-year institutions. These provisions expire June 30, 2022. Also removes an expiration date from statute established under HB 2337 (2012). Partial veto by governor removed a section conditioning certain provisions on the availability of appropriations. The study commissioned by this bill was published in 2019 here.
- HB 1375 (2017): Adds a section that requires community and technical colleges to indicate the cost of any required textbook or other course material to students in the online course description used during registration. The goal of this bill is to incentivize faculty to use resources available on the open course library by informing students of a textbook’s cost when they register for a class.
- HB 2337 (2012): Requires the superintendent of public instruction to take the lead in developing openly licensed courseware aligned with the common core state standards and placed under a Creative Commons attribution license that allows others to use, distribute, and create derivative works based upon the digital material, while still allowing the authors or creators to retain the copyright and to receive credit for their efforts. Allocates one and one-half percent of the amount otherwise allocable to school districts for curriculum and textbooks under RCW 28A.150.260(8) to be allocated to the office of the superintendent of public instruction solely for the development of openly licensed courseware.
- SB 6355 (2010): Provides a systematic mechanism for communities and the state to identify educational programs and capital investments needed to expand the state’s higher education system upon demand. Authorizes a competitive grant program to support innovative solutions, including furthering the development of learner-centered, technology-assisted course delivery, including expansion of online and hybrid coursework, open courseware, and other uses of technology in order to effectively and efficiently share costs, improve the quality of instruction and student, faculty, and administrative services, increase undergraduate and graduate student access, retention, and graduation, and to enhance transfer capability.
- SB 6444 (2010): Operating supplemental appropriations bill. Appropriates $1,112,000 for fiscal year 2010 and $1,113,000 for fiscal year 2011 for the state board of community and technical colleges to enhance online distance learning and open courseware technology. Funds shall be used to support open courseware, open textbooks, open licenses to increase access, affordability and quality of courses in higher education.
- HB 1025 (2009): Requires the governing bodies of state higher education institutions, in collaboration with stakeholders, to adopt rules requiring that affiliated bookstores disclose information to students on required course materials including but not limited to title, authors, edition, price, and ISBN at least four weeks in advance, with certain exceptions, and requiring that faculty and staff members consider the least costly practices in assigning course materials, such as adopting the least expensive edition available, adopting free, open textbooks when available, and working with college librarians to put together collections of free online web and library resources.
- HB 1946 (2009): Encourages all institutions of higher education to use common online learning technologies. Requires the higher education coordinating board to convene a higher education technology transformation task force to prepare a report that includes a plan to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and quality of public higher education relative to the strategic and operational use of technology in higher education. The task force is directed to investigate methods and open licensing options for effectively sharing digital content.
- HB 2300 (2007): Publishers must make immediately available to faculty at higher education institutions the wholesale price of college textbooks and a history of revisions.
- #GoOpen State: Washington joined the U.S. Department of Education’s #GoOpen campaign for openly licensed educational resources in K-12 education. To become a #GoOpen State, states meet a set of criteria including adding OER into the statewide education technology strategy.
► West Virginia
- HB 4355 (2022): This bill requires state institutions to disclose information about required textbook and course materials to students including: 1) whether a course material is an open educational resource; 2) whether a student will be automatically charged for a course material and the charge amount; 3) details about how the students data will be used and maintained by a publisher for automatically charged materials; and 4) information about the student’s choices to “opt-out” of the automatic charges and/or the use of their data.
- HB 4729 (2020): This bill relates to the purchase of educational materials at institutions of higher education – each governing board is required to establish or continue an educational materials affordability committee consisting of faculty, students, administrators, and bookstore representatives – the committee’s recommendations shall include ensuring that bookstores minimize the costs to students of purchasing educational materials; ensuring appropriate, high quality course educational materials are selected; encouraging and incentivizing the use of previous or older versions of basic educational materials to the extent they are available and less costly to students; and encouraging and incentivizing the use of emerging technologies, such as electronic textbooks, online textbooks, print-on-demand services and other open resource materials; among other recommendations.
- HB 2853 (2019): This bill established the West Virginia Program for Open Education Resources to encourage and facilitate the use of open education resource materials in both higher education and K-12 in West Virginia schools.
- SB 70 (2023): Requires the TCS Board to award grants to technical college district boards for the creation of open educational resources that will allow the public and technical colleges across the TCS to access technical college course materials.