With Rising Tuition, Who Can Buy Books? but New Legislation Is Targeting the Soaring Cost of College Texts

Article excerpt

Byline: SEAN LAVIN

TALLAHASSEE - University of North Florida senior Aprille Roberts dreads her trip to the campus bookstore every fall and spring.

"It's not a very good feeling," Roberts said. "You have to pay tuition and then go and spend $500 on books. It's just not fun."

According to a Florida House analysis, textbook prices have soared at twice the rate of inflation nationwide over the past 20 years.

Both chambers of the Legislature appear determined to reverse the trend.

Not a single committee vote has been cast against a bill sponsored by Sen. Stephen Wise, R-Jacksonville, in the Senate and Rep. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, in the House, that would require colleges to adopt policies to minimize the cost of textbooks.

The pending legislation would also require a state probe into the rising costs of textbooks and the purchasing practices of institutions. It also requires that students receive notice of required textbooks 45 days prior to the start of class.

Flores said the bill was inspired in part by Miami Dade College Professor Alfonso Pino, who accepted an all-expenses-paid weekend trip to San Francisco from a publishing company to participate in its conference while deciding whether to require the company's book in classes. …