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New Law Allowing Free Online Textbooks for Some Classes

David Siders recently posted an article about a new law which was recently passed in California. This law would allow for students at certain schools in California to have access to free online textbooks for 50 basic level classes.

Darrell Steinberg, the Senate President Pro Tem, said “”The current cost of traditional textbooks is so high, some college students are forced to struggle through a required class without the textbook, forced to drop classes or sometimes even drop out of college altogether. There’s absolutely no reason a basic biology, statistics or accounting textbook, for example, should cost $200.”

Steinberg brings up a good point. As a student, every semester I feel the pain of the cost of textbooks. Online texts would be beneficial in the long run. The publishing companies probably do not care for it, however a deal was made and the publishing companies no longer object.
The senate bill no. 1053 describes the nitty-gritty of the needs that are to be met. The bill calls for online text books to be available for free to students and staff, which is more convenient and efficient. The main reason this bill is being discussed is because often students going to school on grants are forced to use most of their money on books when they also need it for transportation, food, and other necessities. However, this can only be enacted if No. 1052 is enacted first.
Senate bill no. 1052 which is the first part and much lengthier than 1053, says most of the same things as 1053. 1052 does, however, include much of the “fine print” in this law. Things such as who is entitled to the free online books, what the conditions are, etc.
This is a positive step forward, and while this is not about an online class, there is a clear trend in the way the internet is being utilized. Lawmakers are finally realizing to high cost of textbooks and how difficult it is for some students to afford the required texts. Hopefully this law passes, causing other states and universities to follow suite. This could potentially have major effects on grades as well. From my own experiences, if I spent less on books, i would be able to work less and spend more time on my classes. Over the next few years I could see many other schools across the country doing things similar to this.
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