Arizona Joins Campaign Providing Access To Free Textbooks
As school districts look for ways to cut costs, the Arizona Department of Education might have found a way to help. The department announced Thursday that Arizona is signing on for the Go Open campaign, which encourages districts and educators to use open-source educational materials that are available for free.
The textbooks and other materials, like lesson plans and curriculum aids, used for the Go Open campaign use the most updated and verifiable content. Lessons and textbooks range from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade and cover many different courses.
Charles Tack, a department of education spokesperson, said the campaign’s variety will be helpful.
“You’ll see a lot of STEM resources. You’ll even see things like physical education. You’ll see things like foreign language, special needs resources or students who are english language learners. I think that is very important, because we want as many resources for as many students.”
He said using open-source materials is not only the best no-cost option, but also pushes schools digitally. Schools movement toward digital would allow all schools, districts, teachers and students to have access to the same material and not be limited by their district's economic standing.
While all schools that decide to join the campaign will have access, Tack believes that doesn't mean all schools will have unified education.
"Just because they have access to the same things, that doesn't mean they're using the same books," he added.
Tack is excited that Arizona is one of the states that has come on board because he thinks it’s finally giving access the teachers and students deserve.
“It’s the teachers and hardworking educators across our state that are doing that,” he said referencing the small and dedicated staff the Department of Education has. “We want them to have access to as many resources as possible so our students have the best chance to succeed.
Access to these materials are available on the U.S. department of education website or learningregistry.org.