The US has become the first country to require schools to give away free college textbooks, and many others have followed suit, with the federal government promising to provide free textbooks to every school.
But the idea of free school textbooks has been controversial, with some teachers saying it could lead to teachers not teaching enough.
Key points:The US government has pledged to provide 200,000 free textbooks for every school in the country, and free school children are already being given free booksThe National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) says about 200,049 students were enrolled in free schools last year and another 40,000 were enrolled onlineSource: ABC News | Photo Credit: NCES”We’ve been in contact with the school district in Arizona and we have a plan in place for students to be able to get textbooks,” said NCES chief executive officer Mark Wicks.
“That’s the plan, the NCES is working on that.”
But we’re working with the district to see if we can get them to agree to it, and then we’ll let them know what’s going on.
“While the US government says it has already agreed to provide about 200 000 free textbooks, some states have not.
In New York state, some public schools offer free textbooks while others require students to register and pay fees.
And then if there is an agreement, then we can take steps to ensure that the students that are participating in the free program are able to access textbooks in a manner that is conducive to their education.”‘”
We’re trying to work with our district to make sure that if there’s an agreement that’s not going to affect the ability of the student to take a course or attend a school, then that’s what we’re going to do,” said Mr Wicks, who has been with the state agency for 15 years.
“And then if there is an agreement, then we can take steps to ensure that the students that are participating in the free program are able to access textbooks in a manner that is conducive to their education.”‘
I wouldnt have bought a book for free’Mr Wicks said the NCS would be working with district to ensure they had “a plan in mind”.
“The NCES will be providing all of the resources we can to ensure our students are able and are getting the textbooks they need, and we’ll work with the Arizona Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to ensure there’s a plan put in place,” he said.
“We’ll also be working through the Arizona Board of Education to make it a priority for them to come to us with an agreement.”
Arizona’s schools are currently run through the state department of education, which manages educational policies.
“Our goal is to ensure every student in our system is getting the information they need and getting the materials they need,” Mr Wickers said.
The NCIS chief said there was currently no timetable for how long the free textbooks would be available, but that “we’d expect it to be sometime next year”.
“It’s just a matter of making sure that we’re getting the resources to the district, and making sure we’re not compromising the quality of our education, because if we’re compromising the education we’re providing, then our students will not be getting the quality education that they need to succeed,” he told 7.30.