DES PLAINES – To ensure college students can afford the tools they need to excel in the classroom, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) passed a law in the spring to create a task force dedicated to making textbooks and other course materials more affordable. On Monday, Murphy was appointed as one of its members.


“Far too often, students don’t buy a textbook because they can’t afford it – which puts them at a disadvantage in the classroom and beyond,” Murphy said. “The task force will enable all students – regardless of income – to get the much-needed college supplies that will lead them to success in and out of the classroom.”

Murphy created the task force during the spring legislative session with the passage of House Bill 332. The group will research ways to save students money on course materials, examine digital learning materials in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and publish its findings online.

Using these findings, the task force will identify best practices for colleges and universities with an eye toward improving affordability, ensuring access to required course materials by the first day of class, and securing better outcomes for students—especially minority, low-income and first-generation students.

“As students look into their higher education options, they should not feel deterred by the high price of textbooks,” Murphy said. “Anyone who wants to go to college should be able to.”

The rest of the members of the Course Materials Equitable Access and Affordability Study Task Force will be selected in the weeks to come and begin its meetings.