Feb 262015

Photo: Glyn Lowe (CC-BY)

This week, the House Rules Committee agreed to allow the full House to consider an Open Education amendment proposed by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO).  The amendment would permit funding through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (H.R.5) to be used for “Awarding grants for the creation and distribution of open access textbooks and open educational resources.”

CCUSA Director Michael Carroll issued the following statement:

Representative Polis’s amendment is a welcome recognition of the power and impact of open educational resources, including textbooks, which are up-to-date, high quality materials, that improve educational outcomes and save school districts millions of dollars that are better spent on teachers and students. The amendment uses the language of “open access textbooks” and ‘open educational resources’, and it should be clear that Creative Commons licenses are the standard for making textbooks or other educational resources ‘open.’ 

For an example of how granting states the ability to invest federal funds in open educational resources to produce significant returns on investment, see the work done in Utah. The Polis amendment would also provide support for these state-initiated policy developments to improve educational outcomes while saving significant amounts in the materials budgets, see this report by the International Association for K-12 Online Learning.

Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under a copyright license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.  Creative Commons USA has more information on Open Educational Resources on our OER page.

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