E-Textbook Bill Passes House Unanimously

-- Peace bill allows purchasing of Electronic Textbooks -- Central Virginia- Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R-Mechanicsville) is delighted to announce that his bill HB 709 was passed unanimously in the House, with a vote of 98-0. The bill will now be heard in the Senate.

Two years ago, Peace successfully passed a measure to streamline the process used by local school divisions to purchase textbooks. Working with the Secretary of Education and the state Department of Education, Peace introduced this legislation which will require publishers of Board approved textbooks in grades 6-12 to offer prices for hardcopy textbooks, hardcopy textbooks with electronic files and electronic textbooks that are separate and apart from hardcopy versions.

Delegate Peace commented, “This legislation ensures that any school division contracts or purchase orders related to Board-approved textbooks allow for the sole purchase of electronic textbooks. By leveraging the authority to purchase only electronic textbooks local school districts will have more flexibility, resulting in a cost savings.”

A number of states are encouraging the proliferation of digital textbooks; including California which recently passed legislation to require that all textbooks used at private and public institutions of higher education make electronic versions of textbooks available for students.

“With the onset of e-book and digital media devices such as Kindle and iPad, we are seeing changes in the tools used by students to learn and teachers to teach. Through the use of digital media, students, parents and school divisions can save money, while embracing new technologies students are focused on using,” continued Peace. “McGraw-Hill has already stated they will make textbooks available for iPad.”

Delegate Christopher K. Peace was elected to his third term representing the 97th District of the Virginia House of Delegates. The District includes parts of Hanover, Caroline, King William, King and Queen, Henrico, Spotsylvania Counties and all of New Kent County.