Taking On The Publishers

Ask Yourself These Three Questions:

1. How can just about every book ever written be available on a Kindle, yet students still carry around 20 pound backpacks stuffed with textbooks?

2. Why are book stores closing yet college textbook publishers are seeing growing profits?

3. Why are there new textbooks out for subjects like Geometry, Ancient History and Physics, every couple years when nothing has changed in those studies for decades?

The answer to all of these questions is one word: M-O-N-O-P-O-L-Y


Students are forced to purchase a textbook required by their professor. Professors are typically not as concerned about price as their students are, and once the textbook has been selected, there is no free market, no competition. Cash strapped students are at the mercy of the publishers. This is a prime example of when government needs to step in to protect consumers.  I will not let these publishers continue to take advantage of students!

I Propose:

  • The maximum amount a professor can require a student to spend on textbooks/materials would be $50.

  • Under special circumstances, a professor can request a waiver of the $50 limit, only upon the approval of the elected student body representatives for that department.

  • No professor can require a textbook for their class, or force a fellow professor to require a textbook, if they were compensated for the creation of that textbook.

How It Works

Publishers will be forced to lower their prices and professors will be forced to find less expensive alternatives. They can choose to offer digital books, allow older versions of books or select a free book from the every growing database of Open Educational Resources (OER).  OER are online textbooks and teaching materials that are free for anyone to use and there are literally hundreds available online written for a variety of studies.  Unfortunately, a poll of professors taken last year found that 56% of them had never even heard of OER.  This new law will force them to become aware of these options.


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