CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed had it right when he remarked recently that algebra and calculus haven’t changed in the past 500 years. He was asking why students have to pay upwards of $200 for revised textbooks on those subjects every three years or so.
As tuition at California colleges and universities skyrocket, there’s one area where costs could be contained. State Senate leader Darrell Steinberg plans to introduce a bill asking for $25 million in start-up costs to put textbooks for the 50 most-common subjects online, or available in a print version for $20. The free online versions could be updated by the authors as needed. That would eliminate revised texts that cost, on average, $100.
Students spend an average of $1,300 a year on textbooks. While used books are available, they’re often scarce. Steinberg’s proposal would help students save up to $1,000 a year, offsetting at least some of the steep tuition increases of the past several years. Read more…