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College Textbook Affordability Act of 2015   

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(a) In order to participate in the program, the local academic senate of a campus of the California State University or the California Community Colleges shall do both of the following:

(1) Adopt a local campus resolution to increase student access to high-quality open educational resources and reduce the cost of textbooks and supplies for students in course sections for which open educational resources are to be adopted to accomplish cost savings for students.

(2) Approve a plan, in collaboration with students and campus administration, that describes evidence of the faculty's commitment and readiness to effectively use grant funds to support faculty adoption of open educational resources.

(A) The plan may detail technological or staff support to increase the adoption of open educational resources. The plan shall describe how the faculty will learn about the California Open Online Library for Education and other existing open educational resources.

(B) The plan shall include the number of academic departments expected to be involved in the plan's implementation, the number of course sections in which open educational resources will be adopted, the percentage of cost savings for students anticipated on account of the adoption of open educational resources for each of these course sections, the ways existing faculty development programs will be enhanced by the plan's implementation, and the mechanisms that will be used to distribute adopted open educational resources to students.

(C) At their discretion, faculty may choose, for courses that are to adopt open educational resources under the plan, appropriate resources for any of the 50 strategically selected lower division courses identified by the California Open Education Resources Council pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 66409. Other open educational resources may also be used.

(D) The plan shall describe how the campus will provide access to open educational resource materials for students, including how the campus will make hard copies of these materials available for students who lack access to these materials off campus and make it possible for students with such access to print hard copies.

(E) The plan will identify the amount of the grant requested. The amount of the grant requested shall be equal to, or less than, the number of course sections in which both open educational resources will be adopted and cost savings for the course section will be greater than 30 percent, multiplied by one thousand dollars ($1,000). The amount requested shall not be greater than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000). A plan shall commit to achieving greater than 30 percent cost savings in at least 10 course sections.

(F) (i) The plan shall include the percentage of cost savings for each course section calculated as follows:

(ii) The percentage of cost savings shall be the estimated decrease in the costs of books and supplies for a course section in the current term resulting from the adoption of open educational resources for that course section, divided by the costs of books and supplies for that course section in the immediately preceding academic term.

(b) The California Open Education Resources Council may provide expertise on available open educational resources and best practices for the adoption of open educational resources for existing courses to assist in the development of the plan.

(c) (1) The local academic senate of a campus of the California State University or the California Community Colleges may submit the resolution and the plan developed pursuant to subdivision (a) to the California Open Education Resources Council as its application for an initial grant no later than June 30, 2016.

(2) (A) The California Open Education Resources Council shall make an initial grant to a campus within 60 days of the council's receipt of the campus' application if the campus has satisfied the requirements of subdivision (a). The California Open Education Resources Council may award up to 100 initial grants.

(B) If the total amount requested in applications received pursuant to subparagraph (A) is equal to or less than two million dollars ($2,000,000), the California Open Education Resources Council shall make grants for each approved application equal to the amount requested in the application. If the total amount requested in applications received pursuant to subparagraph (A) exceeds two million dollars ($2,000,000), the California Open Education Resources Council shall make grants for the full amount requested in approved applications on a competitive basis based on the strength of the evidence provided of faculty commitment to the adoption of open educational resources.

(3) Each application approved by the California Open Education Resources Council shall be submitted by the council to the Chancellor of the California State University no later than 30 days after the council approves the application. The chancellor shall award grants to recipients in accordance with this section.

(4) Administrative support may be provided to the council by the California Open Online Library for Education to help the council carry out its duties in accordance with this part.

(5) (A) No later than June 30, 2018, a campus may apply for a bonus grant equal to the amount of its initial grant. The application shall include evidence that the campus has met or exceeded total cost savings of greater than 30 percent for the required number of course sections specified in the approved plan for the campus' initial grant in the 2017-18 academic year.

(B) (i) A campus may also compute the total cost savings for each course section and include that figure in its application for a bonus grant pursuant to subparagraph (A).

(ii) The total cost savings for each course section shall be the number of students enrolled in a course section multiplied by the per-student decrease in the costs of books and supplies for the course section in the term resulting from the adoption of open educational resources.

(6) Bonus grants specified in paragraph (5) shall be used to further the goals of the campus' approved plan for its initial grant. It is the intent of the Legislature that bonus grants support each campus' adoption of open educational resources for at least double the number of course sections, and with at least 30 percent cost savings for each of these course sections, as accomplished by the campus' approved plan for its initial grant.

(7) If the total amount requested in applications for bonus grants exceeds the total amount of funds available, the California Open Educational Resources Council shall award grants on a competitive basis to approved applications for the full amount of the initial grant based on the overall percentage savings achieved by the initial plan in the courses covered by the plan.

(8) It is the intent of the Legislature that initial and bonus grants provide the impetus for campuses to adopt, and continue to use, open educational resources as course materials.

(d) The California Open Online Library for Education, in consultation with the Intersegmental Committee of Academic Senates, shall report to the Legislature, in accordance with Section 9795 of the Government Code, before September 1 each year, commencing in 2018, as to whether the grants are increasing the rate of adoption of open educational resources and decreasing textbook costs for college students.

(Added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 633, Sec. 1.)