Gov. Jerry Brown signs California Senate Bills for free textbooks

The government wants to help students get free textbooks for their classes.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed California Senate Bill 1052 and 1053 on Sept 27., two bills which place into motion a project that will “establish development of open source digital textbooks for 50 lower division courses which students can electronically access for free,” according to a press release from California Sen. Darrell Steinberg’s office.

Senate Bill 1052 will first create a group, the California Open Education Resources Council, that will consist of faculty members in colleges from every district across the state. These members of the COERC will select course-related materials and texts for 50 lower division courses that “faculty, publishers, education foundations and other interested parties” will then bid on for the right to produce, according to the press release.

Senate Bill 1053 stipulates that the California Digital Open Source Library will be created in order to house and allow access to these digital materials for student and faculty throughout the state.

While signed into action, these two new bills are under the umbrella of Senate Bill 1028, which while giving $5 million to the program, will only dispense the money if it is matched dollar for dollar by private or individual sources.

An exact date was not specified in the senator’s release, however a progress report must be made by the COERC and presented to the governor and state legislators by July 1.