This year, Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord) continued her efforts to help college students fight mounting higher education costs by authoring Assembly Bill 1914, which was signed into law, last Friday by Governor Brown. AB 1914 ensures that college students are not paying for unnecessary and underutilized academic materials during coursework.
“Each year students pay approximately $1,300 for required textbooks,” said Assemblywoman Bonilla. “Couple this with rising tuition, room and board, and the fact that textbooks are increasingly linked to digital content which require access codes costing an additional fifty to one hundred dollars, college is becoming more and more unaffordable. The problem is not only the extra costs, but the fact that many of the tasks managed by digital content can be completed by platforms already available to professors and universities.”
Faculty members are already encouraged to consider free or inexpensive options when they select materials for their students to purchase. However, in many cases, professors do not realize the cost of the materials they assign or know that less expensive, quality resources are available. AB 1914 addresses this issue by requiring a policy specifically considering the benefits and drawbacks of academic materials, in addition to raising awareness of platforms already available on campus. Overall, this bill will make the process of selecting, requiring, and purchasing textbooks more transparent for both faculty and their students.
“This bill is part of our continued commitment to ensuring students have access to affordable course materials,” said David Lopez, California State Student Association President. “For far too long the cost of textbooks have been rising at levels that put students in undesirable financial situations. With the help of Assemblywoman Bonilla and her dedicated staff, we have been able to alleviate some of that financial burden by continuing to improve access to free or low-cost educational resources. CSSA believes every student should have access to an affordable education, and this bill is yet another positive step toward that goal.”
Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord) was elected in November 2010 and represents California’s 14th Assembly District, which includes Contra Costa County and Solano County.