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Wednesday, November 11 • 4:00pm - 4:55pm
The Year in U.S. OER Policy: Where We Are and What's Next

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More than a decade of coordinated OER advocacy has paid off with significant victories. Congress allocated, and then renewed twice, the first-ever federal funding for higher education OER grant programs, and numerous significant state-level policy initiatives have led to increased adoption, awareness, and creation of open educational resources. Meanwhile, the millions of dollars allocated to educational institutions as part of the COVID-19 response bill, the CARES Act, opened up a new source of potential funding for OER initiatives during a period of unprecedented fiscal crisis for America's education institutions.

This session will provide attendees with an overview of the past year in U.S. OER policy from advocates engaged in the day-to-day work. We’ll review exciting developments from the past year and provide a look into what goes into big policy wins, along with analysis of what the long-term impact of these policies will be. We’ll also share insight into what’s next for OER policy, including any efforts brewing in Congress and federal agencies post-election, which states and policy trends to watch, and how OER advocates can best take action in their communities.

Federal and state policy are important for supporting the OER movement, providing districts and institutions with frameworks and resources, and sustaining the momentum that brought the movement to where it is today. Without the passion and dedication of OER advocacy efforts, these policy wins wouldn’t be possible.

Learning Outcomes:
After the session, attendees will be able to:
- Explain key developments in U.S. state and federal policy related to OER over the last year
- Identify ways COVID-19 will impact the next policy cycle
- Apply tips for contacting their policymakers to advocate for OER

Speakers
avatar for Nicole Allen

Nicole Allen

Director of Open Education, SPARC
Nicole Allen is the Director of Open Education at SPARC, a global coalition working to make open the default in research and education. A decade and a half ago, Nicole was an undergraduate student frustrated with the cost of textbooks. Today, she is an internationally recognized policy... Read More →
avatar for Reg Leichty

Reg Leichty

Founding Partner, Foresight Law + Policy
With over two decades of legal, policy, and lobbying experience, Reg advises education leaders, national associations, and other stakeholders about the federal laws, regulations, and programs that directly impact and support efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities... Read More →
avatar for Scott Hochberg

Scott Hochberg

Policy Advisor, OpenStax / Rice University
I served twenty years as a member of the Texas House of Representatives, specializing in education issues, and passed Texas first OER legislation, as well as other open government measures. Talk to me about effectively telling the OER story to policymakers.
avatar for Kaitlyn Vitez

Kaitlyn Vitez

Higher Education Campaigns Director, U.S. PIRG
Kaitlyn serves as the Student PIRGs' lobbyist on Capitol Hill, working on campaigns to make college more affordable and protect student loan borrowers. She has been a leading voice for students in opposition to access codes, the Cengage-McGraw Hill merger, and automatic textbook billing... Read More →


Wednesday November 11, 2020 4:00pm - 4:55pm EST
Concurrent 1
  Strategies, Panel