Summary: S.1704 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.1704. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (11/14/2013)

Affordable College Textbook Act - Directs the Secretary of Education to make competitive grants to institutions of higher education (IHEs) to support pilot programs that expand the use of open textbooks in order to achieve savings for students.

Requires the grants to be used for:

  • professional development for IHE faculty and staff, including the search for and review of open textbooks;
  • the creation or adaptation of open educational resources, especially open textbooks;
  • the development or improvement of tools and informational resources that support the use of open textbooks;
  • research evaluating the efficacy of using open textbooks to achieve savings for students; and
  • partnerships with other entities to carry out the preceding activities.

Requires the full and complete digital content of the educational resources created or adopted using such grant funds to be made available free of charge to the public: (1) on an easily accessible and interoperable website; and (2) in a machine readable, digital format that anyone can directly download, edit, and redistribute.

Directs the Secretary to give special consideration to grant applicants that demonstrate the greatest potential to:

  • achieve the highest level of savings for students;
  • expand the use of open textbooks at other IHEs; and
  • produce open textbooks that are of the highest quality, that can be most easily utilized and adapted by faculty members, that correspond to the highest enrollment courses, and that are created or adopted in partnership with entities that will assist in their marketing and distribution.

Amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 to include any educational material developed to accompany a college textbook as supplemental material that is subject to college textbook information disclosure requirements.

Expresses the sense of Congress that IHEs should encourage the consideration of open textbooks by faculty within the generally accepted principles of academic freedom that establish the right and responsibility of faculty members to select the most appropriate course materials for their classes.