xpost: The Growing Adoption of Creative Commons Textbooks
A superior alternative, he believes, would be easy to execute. "Instead of spending $130 million a year getting those outcomes, what if the state put up $100 million in one time money," he suggests. "We have 12 grades and eight textbooks per grade, so what if we put up a $1 million (request for proposal) for each book, and anyone can reply. The professors from the best universities can reply. McGraw Hill can reply. It's an open RFP, but the conditions are that the books are licensed under Creative Commons because they're paid for with taxpayer money."
Under this model, the intellectual property that results from these purchases would be owned by the public. In addition to being free to download online, the schools can print up paper versions for less than $5 per copy. Perhaps more importantly, the kids, once they complete the grade, would be permitted to keep the books, using them in the future if they need to. From there, the state would only have to spend approximately $10 million a year to ensure all the textbooks are updated with timely information. "It would save the state $120 million a year, and we'd actually have resources that our kids can use," Green says. "This isn't difficult."