Target: Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber
Goal: Take action to lower the price of textbooks for college students
With the cost of college education increasing and the cost of college textbooks increasing right along with it, many students are finding themselves priced out of a higher education opportunity. Help can arrive through the implementation of measures that aim to lessen the financial burdens on students beyond simply tuition costs. Lowering the prices of textbooks, then, should be a primary goal to aim for.
With the passage of House Bill 4058, Oregon’s state government has agreed to form a committee to create strategies and recommendations for how to lower prices for college textbooks. This bill was passed on July 1, 2012. It represents a step toward progress, but obviously no real progress as there have been no solutions presented or offered since then. Real change will not come until actual ideas for lowering textbook prices are proposed.
Oregon’s Department of Education could create a new publishing company and partially fund it, thereby lowering the costs of the books for students. Professors could arrange their curricula in order make a greater number of textbooks reusable for future students. Textbooks could be released in full e-book style, limiting production costs and therefore student costs. Any number of ideas could be proposed. Following the proposals, plans could be drawn up, and action carried out.
It is this action that needs to occur before many more students find themselves priced out of a college education. Too many have already been left behind. Any pathway that leads to limiting the financial burden on future students needs to be pursued.
Many students spend over $1,000 a year on textbooks and other course materials, and that price tag is only going up. Add that to the increasing tuition costs, and it’s easy to see why there are so many students getting priced out of a chance at higher education.
Your state government recently took a small step of action toward helping combat this problem through the passage of House Bill 4058. The bill, as you well know, formed a work group to help devise plans and recommendations for lowering textbook prices. However, this bill passed in July of 2012–over six months ago. Where is the action?
Action; that is what this problem needs. It helps to create committees to come up with solutions, but so far there have been no solutions offered. If you truly care about limiting textbook costs and allowing more people to have the opportunity to learn at a higher education institute, you will ensure that these groups begin to come up with actual solutions and put them into action. College students need this help, and they need it badly. Start providing it for them.
[Your Name Here]