In a blog post for the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), SPARC Director of Open Education Nicole Allen outlines the extension of the Open Textbook Pilot, first established in March 2018. The bill, which will likely be signed into law in the next few days, provides “grants to colleges and universities to expand the creation and use of open educational resources.” Allen explains:
Once signed into law, the bill will provide another one-time $5 million appropriation for the Open Textbook Pilot, bringing the total federal investment to $10 million. Importantly, the bill also includes further instructions for the Department of Education designed to improve implementation. For the second round of grants, Congress specifies a clearer set of allowable activities, increases the length of the application period and number of awards, and strengthens open licensing requirements. These instructions are a direct response to recommendations that arose from the first round of funding, which is expected to be awarded later this week.
In the post, Allen also advocates for the passage of the Affordable College Textbook Act, which would permanently establish a grant program for open textbooks.