Let schools sell old books

By Assemblymembers

Joel Anderson and Julia Brownley

Our local libraries often hold book sales to generate funds for new books or other needed materials or supplies.  

It makes sense: Sell old or out-of-date resources and use those funds to purchase new items.  A no-brainer.

Many school districts in California have stacks of unneeded, old and obsolete instructional materials in warehouses which, if resold, could generate new funds for our schools.

In these tough times of shrinking school budgets that threaten to hurt our children’s education, why don’t we let schools gather up surplus or out-of-date books and other instructional materials and sell them?

Unfortunately, state law has many restrictions on re-selling materials, making it almost impossible for schools to generate additional revenue from these sales.

Under current law, obsolete or surplus instructional materials may only be given to charitable organizations, or sold to an organization that agrees to use the materials solely for educational purposes.

The law also requires that a school that receives instructional material certify that it will not make a charge to the end users of the instructional material.

In order to deal with these restrictions, we have jointly authored Assembly Bill 487 to allow the sale of instructional materials, removing excessive restrictions.

This bi-partisan, common sense legislation will establish the Surplus Instructional Materials Fund under the administration of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The bill requires that the moneys in the surplus fund be available for school districts, county offices of education and charter schools to acquire supplemental instructional materials.

While government revenues continue to drop, we need to make every option available for our schools to streamline operations and generate additional funds. There is no place for bureaucratic red tape at the expense of our children’s education.

Assemblymember Julia Brownley, D-Santa Monica, is the chair of the Assembly Committee on Education and the author of AB 487; Assemblymember Joel Anderson, R-El Cajon,) is the joint author of AB 487.

   
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