The New York Times editorial board called on Congress to make college textbooks more affordable. The measure they endorsed wouldn’t do anything Soviet like directly cap prices, but it would require textbook makers to tell professors exactly how much books would cost impoverished students.
The bill would also ban textbook makers from jacking up prices by bundling unnecessary CDs and other extras. Finally, schools would be required to publish a list of required books long before the start of classes so students could avail themselves of the free market and ferret out the cheapest prices.
Faculty should also be doing their part. Instead of assigning two expensive books and using just a few chapters of each, professors should order custom books with only the chapters they intend to assign.
Congress, though, should do what it can, because mounting textbook prices are one of a number of factors that are pushing higher education further out of reach of many young people.
The board encouraged all students to step up and join the Campaign to Reduce College Textbook Costs. Be the change you want to see and all.
That Textbook Costs How Much? $200? [NYT]
Make Textbooks Affordable [Campaign to Reduce College Textbook Costs]
H.R. 4137 – The College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007 [THOMAS]
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