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OER State Policy Tracker

Open Education

Stay up to date on OER policy in your state

Open educational resources (OER) has increasingly become a go-to strategy for legislators seeking to make college education more affordable and effective. Nearly half of all U.S. states have considered OER legislation in past years, and the trend is likely to continue. Given the increasing activity at the state level, SPARC is expanding the support we provide to our members in this arena.

This page is updated weekly, and tracks the latest state-by-state policy activity relevant to the SPARC community, along with policies enacted in past years. SPARC’s state policy tracking is done in conjunction with Foresight Law + Policy, and a full dataset of legislation tracked since 2015 is published in GitHub. Note that page is for tracking purposes only and being listed does not imply endorsement. For information about SPARC’s policy positions, visit our Policy & Advocacy page. Check out our additional state policy resources below.

OER Policy State-by-State

Arkansas

2019 Activity:

No relevant bills have been filed.

Existing Policies:

  • 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.
California

2019 Activity:

No relevant bills have been filed.

Existing Policies:

  • 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 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.
Colorado

2019 Activity:

No relevant bills have been filed.

Existing Policies:

  • 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
Connecticut

2019 Activity:

  • HB 7162: This bill establishes the Connecticut Open Educational Resource Coordinating Council – The council shall: identify high-impact courses for which OER will be developed, converted, or adopted; 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; accept, review, and approve competitive grant applications provided the faculty member approved for the grant licenses the OER through a create commons attribution license; administer a standardized review and approval process for the development, converstion, or adoption of OER; establish a state-sponsored digital clearinghouse that shall function as a database for OER; and promote strategies for the production use and access of OER. Last Action: Favorable Report, Tabled for the Calendar, House – 04/03/2019.

Existing Policies:

  • SB 948 (2017): Authorizes and encourages institutions of higher education in the state to establish guidelines to implement programs that reduce the cost of textbooks and other educational resources for students. This is a “digital discount” bill supported by publishers to promote partnerships between publishers and institutions. Similar bills have been filed in other states.
  • 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.
Delaware

2019 Activity: 

No relevant bills have been filed.

Existing Policies:

  • #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.
Florida

2019 Activity: 
Adjourned

  • SB 6 (Enacted): 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. Last Action: Signed by the Governor – 04/04/2019.
  • HB 839 (Dead): This bill amends existing statute regarding textbook and instructional materials affordability to require “innovative pricing techniques and payment options” to include both an opt-in or an opt-out provision for students. Existing statute only permits opt-in. Last Action:  Laid on table – Died on adjounrment – 04/29/2019.
  • HB 7051/SB 1744 (Dead): 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. Last Action: Indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration – Died in Education – 05/03/2019.

Existing Policies:

  • 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.
Georgia

2019 Activity: 

Adjourned.

Existing Policies:

  • 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.
Hawaii

2019 Activity: 

  • SB 932: This bill establishes the University of Hawaii open educational resources task force to conduct a comprehensive analysis and evaluation of all general education courses and high attendance courses taught at the University of Hawaii system to identify open educational resources for those courses. This further establishes and appropriates funds for an open educational resources pilot project grant program to incentivize faculty to adopt, develop, and implement open educational resources. Last Action: Referred to HRE, WAM – 1/24/2019.
  • HB 915: This bill requires the University of Hawaii to study the feasibility of adopting an open educational resources initiative. This initiative shall include the adoption of a strategic plan, including a strategy to increase the use of open educational resources. This initiative must also include: (1) Open educational resources training, including training for faculty, and (2) Individual grants for faculty to incentivize the use of open educational resources in their courses. Last Action: Referred to LHE, FIN – 1/28/2019.
  • HR 72: This House Resolution requests the University of Hawaii study the feasibility of adopting an open educational resources initiative. The study is requested to include: a strategic plan to increase the use of open educational resources, the recommended parameters of an open educational resources initiative at the University of Hawaii, the estimated cost to implement, and the projected savings to students as a result of the initiative, if any. Last Action: Offered – 03/08/2019.
Iowa

2019 Activity:

  • SF 433: This bill establishes requirements relating to the use and identification of open educational resources by postsecondary educational institutions and requires exploration and action on opportunities to reduce education resources costs. Last Action: Subcommittee: Sinclair, Quirmbach, and Zaun – 3/6/2019.
Louisiana

2019 Activity:

  • SB 117: 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. Last Action: Signed by Speaker of the House and President of the Senate – 06/04/2019.

Existing Policies:

  • 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
Maryland

2019 Activity:

  • HB 1250 / SB 588: This bill amends existing labor laws focused on apprenticeship programs. The amendments would require apprenticeship program operators to use open educational resources for course content material or pay for the costs of textbooks or other educational instructional supplies for each enrollee or student. This bill would also amend existing laws regarding workforce development programs. Originally, these amendments included an exemption for providers having to pay for instructional materials if the materials were open educational resources. However, this reference was removed in the version passed by the Senate. Last Action: Senate: Passed Senate as amended – 03/28/2019 . House: Hearing scheduled for 03/07/2019.

Existing Policies:

  • 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.
Massachusetts

2019 Activity:

  • S 324: An Act Establishing a Special Commission Relative to Digital Textbooks: This creates a special commission to study and report on how to maximize the use of digital and open textbooks for K-12 and public colleges and universities. The commission shall report to the General Court with results, recommendations, and draft legislation on or before January 31, 2020. Last Action: Filed – 1/9/2019.
  • S 770/H 1249: An Act establishing a Special Commission to Review Opportunities to Reduce the Costs of Higher Education by Improving the Utilization of Digital Learning Technology: This creates a special commission to review and study the feasibility of improving the utilization of digital learning technology in institutions of higher education in order to reduce the costs of course materials, textbooks, and other costs of higher education. The study shall include examining the costs of purchasing textbooks and study materials, reviewing information concerning the choice of lower cost texts, such as soft cover, one color, and digital texts. It shall also explore the effective use of e-textbooks and open source material, digital learning platforms, and other educational technology. Last Action:  Hearing scheduled for June 11, 2019 – 05/23/2019.

Existing Policies:

  • 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.
Michigan

2019 Activity:

No relevant bills have been filed.

Existing Policies:

  • HB 5579 (2018): Appropriations bill including funding 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. Last Action:Signed by the Governor – 06/28/2018.
  • #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.
Minnesota

2019 Activity:

  • SF 2415 (Enacted): 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.. Last Action: Signed by the Governor – 05/22/2019.
      • HF 2730: This bill 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 $250,000 in FY 2020 and in FY 2021 are appropriated for the open textbook program. Last Action: Referred by Chair to Higher Education Finance and Policy Division – 03/27/2019.
      • SF 2214: This bill would create the inclusive access pilot program to address textbook affordability in postsecondary institutions and determine the cost savings for both students and the participating institutions. Last Action: Introduced, first reading, referred to Higher Education Finance and Policy – 03/07/2019.
      • SF 130: This bill requires that by August 31, 2021, 15% of all courses offered at state colleges and universities must use affordable textbooks. This would further require the board to submit an annual report to higher education legislative committees that must include the percentage and number of courses using: tradition textbooks under $40, open textbooks, open educational resources, as well as the percentage and number of developmental education courses using affordable textbooks and average total textbook cost. The bill also amends course marking requirements. Last Action:  Introduced, first reading, referred to Higher Education Finance and Policy – 1/17/2019.
      • SF 699: This bill requires each college to offer the opportunity to earn a Z-Degree. A “Z-Degree” is a zero-textbook-cost associate’s degree. This bill would require each instructor to review and approve open educational resources for use in a course. Last Action: Introduced, first reading, referred to Higher Education Finance and Policy – 1/31/2019.

Existing Policies:

    • SF 3656: 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.
Nebraska

2019 Activity:

  • LB 675: This bill amends existing law to require the Education Technology Center to evaluate Internet-based digital education courses as well as open education resources. Last Action: Sent to Governor to sign – 05/21/2019.
New Jersey

2019 Activity:

  • S 768 (Enacted): 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 Subsitute for Assembly Bills A 327, A1149, and A3254. Last Action:  Approved P.L. 2019, c.77 – 05/02/2019.
  • A 3681 (Carried Over): This bill requires textbook publishers to provide to the faculty members or academic departments at public institutions of higher education responsible for selecting textbooks the price at which the publisher would make the product available to the college bookstore. The bill also requires publishers to disclose when unbundled textbooks are available in the same edition as the bundled textbooks. The purpose of this bill is to promote open and transparent marketing, pricing, and purchasing of textbooks to provide savings to students. Last Action: Introduced and referred to Assembly HIgher Education Committee – 03/13/2018.
New York

2019 Activity:

  • S 3661/A 5914: This bill seeks to reduce the cost of textbooks and course materials for students of institutions of higher education by requiring every institution of higher education to adopt policies that allow the use of innovative pricing techniques and payment options for textbooks, supplemental materials, and other course materials or textbooks. Last Action:  Second report cal. – 05/15/2019.
  • A2893: This bill requires the boards of trustees of the state university of New York and the city university of New York each to conduct and report on the availability and accessibility of alternative high-quality, lower-cost course resources in lieu of traditional textbooks. This may include open education resources, online textbooks, and other education related materials. Last Action: Introduced, referred to Higher Education – 1/28/2019.
  • A2961: This bill enacts the college textbook affordability act to encourage the adoption of low-cost, high-quality, open educational resources. It establishes the New York open education resources council and open source digital library. This would authorize SUNY campuses and community colleges to adopt open educational resources adoption inventive program campus plans and apply for grants to implement such plans. Last Action: Introduced, referred to Higher Education – 1/28/2019.

Existing Policies:

  • FY 2018 State Budget (2017): The 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 Carolina

2019 Activity:

  • HB 665 / SB 437: This bill amends existing law but also contains an appropriation for open educational resources material – this would appropriate from the General Fund to the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina the sum of $300,000 in recurring funds for the 2019-20 fiscal year to reduce student textbook costs through the curation and adoption by the University of North Carolina System Office of high-quality open educational resources materials for the most commonly taught courses across constituent institutions and community colleges. Last Action: Senate: Passed first reading in Senate, referred to Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate – 05/02/2019.House: Passed House – 05/01/2019.
North Dakota

2019 Activity:

No relevant bills have been filed.

Existing Policies:

  • 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.
Ohio

2019 Activity:

No relevant bills have been filed.

Existing Policies:

  • 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.
Oregon

2019 Activity:

  • HB 2213: This bill would require each community college and public university to ensure that course description for every academic course offered in succeeding academic term lists all textbooks enrolled students are required to purchase. This would also require each community college and public university to establish textbook affordability plans. These plans must include measurable goals for increasing textbook affordability, including requiring a certain number of courses offered be designated as using low-cost or no-cost, as well as addressing how to best mitigate the economic impact of decreased academic bookstore revenue as a result of the increased adoption of low-cost or no-cost OER. Last Action: President of Senate and Speaker of House signed – 05/23/2019.
  • HB 2214: This bill would appropriate money from the General Fund to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission for the purpose of funding Oregon’s Open Educational Resources program. Last Action: Referred to Ways and Means by prior reference – 04/02/2019.
  • HB 3381: This bill prohibits public universities from increasing the amount of tuition and mandatory fees charged to resident undergraduate and graduate students during 2019-202 and 2020-21 academic years. This bill then requires a report to the Legislative Assembly which must include the average amount public university and community college students spend annually on textbooks. Last Action: Referred to Education with subsequent referral to Ways and Means – 03/15/2019.

Existing Policies:

  • 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.

Rhode Island

2019 Activity:

No relevant bills have been filed.

Existing Policies:

  • 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.

Tennessee

2019 Activity:

  • SB 1239/HB 115: This bill requires the office of research and education accountability to study and report on the costs associated with attending public institutions of higher education in the state. This shall include the average cost of a textbook for one undergraduate course at a public institution of higher education and the average amount spent by an undergraduate student for textbooks each semester and how these amounts vary from program to program and year to year. Finally, the report shall include the average amount spent by an undergraduate student for textbooks required to obtain an undergraduate degree. Last Action: Senate: Placed on Senate Education Committee calendar for 04/10/2019. House: Taken off notice for cal. in Calendar & Rules Committee – 04/04/2019.
Texas

2019 Activity:

  • HB 3607 (Dead): This bill would require the board to conduct a study on methods to reduce the cost of electronic textbooks and course materials required or recommended for core curriculum courses. Last Action: Read first time in Senate, referred to Higher Education – 05/07/2019.
  • HB 3650: 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. Last Action: Sent to Governor to sign – 05/26/2019.
  • HB 3652: 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. Last Action: Sent to Governor to sign – 05/26/2019.
  • HB 1933/SB 1536 (Dead): Inclusion of Certain Textbook Costs in Tuition or Fees Charge: This bill allows the governing board of institutions of higher education to establish a textbook affordability program under which the institution may include the cost of any textbooks or other materials required for a course in the tuition or required fees charged by the institution for the course. To establish the program, the institution must enter into an agreement with a book publisher or other entity to make those textbooks or materials available to students at below competitive market rates and there must be an opt out policy, as well as a requirement the students are able to obtain the textbooks within seven days of the start of the semester or term. Last Action: House: Committee report sent to Calendars – 04/26/2019. Senate: Read first time, referred to Higher Education – 03/14/2019.

Existing Policies:

  • 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.
Virginia

2019 Activity:

  • HB 2380 (Enacted): 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. Last Action: Signed by Governor – 03/18/2019 (effective 07/01/2019).

Existing Policies:

  • 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.
Washington

2019 Activity:

  • HB 1701: An Act Relating to Notifying Students of Courses with Low-Cost Instructional Materials and Open Educational Resources at the four-year institutions of Higher Education – This bill amends existing law to require state universities, regional universities, and The Evergreen State College to designate in their online course descriptions used by students for registration purposes whether a course uses open educational resources or low-cost required instructional materials. Last Action: First reading, referred to College & Workforce Development – 1/28/2019.
  • HB 1702: 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. Last Action: House: Passed. Senate: Placed on second reading by Rules Committee – 04/09/2019.
  • HB 1470: An Act Relating to Making Higher Education More Affordable by Providing Incentives for the Use of Open Source Instructional Materials: This would give a person that publishes or creates open source instructional materials to be used by students attending private or public institutions of higher education in the state a tax credit, subject to some requirements. Through this, the legislature seeks to create incentives to increase the use of open source materials and to attract not only traditional textbook publishers, but entities from a multitude of sectors that have expertise and knowledge, to make their textbooks and materials available to students for free. Last Action: Public Hearing – 2/25/2019.
  • HB 1496: This bill would add a new section of statute that would require the superintendent of public instruction to establish and manage a grant program for nonprofit community-based organizations and educational service districts to create and implement plans to provide teacher training in next generation science standards, including climate science standards. This must include using available learning resources and sharing training resources as open educational resources. Last Action: First reading, referred to Education – 1/23/2019.

Existing Policies:

  • 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 thestate 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

2019 Activity: 

  • HB 2853 (Enacted): This bill would establish 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. Last Action: Approved by Governor – 03/26/2019.

 

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