California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on May 6 launched an initiative to make California the first state in the nation to offer schools free, open-source digital textbooks for high school students, reports the Lake County News. The governor directed his secretary of education, Glen Thomas, to ensure these resources are available for use in high school math and science classes by fall 2009, a critical first step in helping ensure digital textbooks are widely available to all California students. “As California’s budget crisis continues, we must find such innovative ways to save money and improve services,” said Schwarzenegger. “California was built on innovation, and I’m proud of our state’s continued leadership in developing education technology. This first-in-the-nation initiative will reduce education costs, help encourage collaboration among school districts, and help ensure every California student has access to a world-class education.” Thomas will work with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell and State Board of Education President Ted Mitchell to develop a state-approved list of standards-aligned, open-source digital textbooks for high school math and science…

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