Legislative Activity

Public Law 110-315
The proposed solutions to lower student textbook costs include a variety of federal and state government policies and programs, including advocacy and legislative pressure on textbook publishers requiring transparent pricing, de-bundling of supplemental materials, and less frequent textbook revising.
A significant first step was taken in November 2007 by presenting to the House of Representatives a bipartisan bill, College Opportunity and Affordability Act.  This bill was passed by the House in February 2008 as Higher Education Opportunity Act, H.R. 4137 [110th], and became Public Law 110-315 after Senate’s approval in July 2008 followed by the Presidential signature in August 2008. Public Law 110-315 took effect in July 2010.

Note: The relevant section concerning textbook costs is Section 112 of Public Law 110-315.

The full text of Public Law 110-315 is available at:

H.R. 1464
The new bill H.R. 1464, Learning Opportunity with Creation of Open Source Textbooks (Low Cost) Act of 2009, was presented to the House of Representatives on March 12, 2009.  This bill requires federal agencies to collaborate in the development of freely-available open source educational materials in college-level physics, chemistry, and math, and for other purposes.
 In particular, the bill requires each federal agency that expends more than $10 million in a fiscal year on scientific education and outreach to use at least 2 percent of such funds for collaboration on the development and implementation of open source materials as an educational outreach effort.  It also directs such agencies, under the joint guidance of the Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Secretary of Energy (DOE), to collaborate with each other or with any federally supported laboratory or university-based research program to develop, implement, and establish procedures for checking the veracity, accuracy, and educational effectiveness of open source materials.

The full text of H.R. 1464 is available at:


Page maintained by Susan Mary Hollar
Last modified: 01/15/2014