August 12, 2022

Textbook affordability targeted

The State Board of Education this month will consider changes to a rule about textbook affordability for college students.

During a June 22 meeting, the board is slated to discuss how to carry out parts of two new laws (SB 2524 and SB 7044) that deal with textbooks.

“Approval of the proposed amendment of this rule may require Florida College System institutions to update current policies and procedures to bring greater transparency to textbooks and instructional materials costs,” said a notice of the meeting published Tuesday.

One of the new laws (SB 2524) directs faculty members at state colleges and universities to curate a list of learning materials, such as textbooks, that are free and have open licensing.

After the law goes into effect on July 1, each state college will be required to post on its website a list of courses that use free textbooks.

That list will have to be published at least 45 days before the first day of class for each term.

The other measure (SB 7044) is designed to bolster a current law that requires colleges and universities to post certain information about textbooks and other learning materials.

Schools are required to post lists of at least 95 percent of their offered courses’ required textbooks. Under the law, that information will have to be published at least 45 days before each term starts.

Textbook costs have increased by about 36 percent since 2011, according to a House staff analysis of the bill, citing a report published last year by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Tags: News Service of Florida

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