"It's nonsensical and expensive to look to traditional hard-bound books when information today is so readily available in electronic form," Schwarzenegger wrote. "Especially now, when our school districts are strapped for cash and our state budget deficit is forcing further cuts to classrooms, we must do everything we can to untie educators' hands and free up dollars so that schools can do more with fewer resources."
The devil is in the details, they say, and I'm sure many jurisdictions will be watching to see if the Governator actually saves the state money. If he does, you can be sure that there will be many imitators. It goes to show that hard times tend to stimulate innovation, as the status quo becomes too uncomfortable to maintain.
I am cautiously favourable. I've thought for some time that the textbook industry was abusive of students, both in terms of expense and of weight, and if there's a practical way to change that - and if publishers are farsighted enough to embrace change willingly - this could turn into a win-win situation. If I were a smaller publisher of textbooks, I would be rushing to see if I could jump in ahead of the big boys and gobble up a significant part of the market ahead of them.
What do you think? Is Schwarzenegger visionary or deluded? Will the peripheral costs erase the financial benefits?