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A02961 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A2961
 
SPONSOR: Santabarbara
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to enacting the college textbook affordability act; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The goal of the College Textbook Affordability Act is to save college students money by empowering professors and local campuses to adopt high quality, free and open educational resources for courses materials. Low-cost or free open educational resources can reduce the total cost of education for students and their families in New York's higher education institutions.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1: This act shall be known as the "College Textbook Affordabili- ty Act." Section 2: Legislative intent. The college textbook affordability act is hereby enacted to reduce costs for college students by encouraging faculty to accelerate the adoption of lower cost, high-quality, Open Educational Resources (OER). It establishes the New York State Open Education Resources Council which will consist of 9 member appointed by the commissioner of the State University of New York (SUNY). Establishes the New York Digital Open Source Library administered by SUNY 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. Establishes the Open Educational Resources Adoption Incentive Program and provides that the funds appropriated pursuant to Section 3 of this act are available for its purposes, including faculty professional development, professional development for staff, OER curation activ- ities, curriculum modification and requisite release time for faculty, and technology support, as specified. Section 3: The sum of $5 million is hereby appropriated to the State University of New York for the purposes of exclusively carrying out the provisions of this act. Section 4: Effective Date.   JUSTIFICATION: With the cost of college education increasing, most college students are graduating with significant student loan debt. In addition to tuition and room and board, textbook costs have also increased significantly. Currently, many courses at college campuses still require students to purchase costly textbooks which can significantly add to the cost of a college education. According to the College Board, a not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity, estimates that the average cost of textbooks for a public 4-year college student in 2016 was $1,250. This legislation encourages and incentivizes college faculty to produce alternative Open Educational Sources (OER) in an effort to provide low- cost or free alternatives to traditional textbook offerings.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2017-18: A8296 - referred to higher education   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: $5 million to be funded from settlement funds received by the state treasury.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become law.
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