"Textbook publishers certainly aren???t all that thrilled, either. The California plan would essentially be pitting publishers against ???free??? materials that are subsidized by taxpayers, an idea that is certain to raise objections."
The textbook market is a scam. Some tenured professors author up their own textbooks and workbooks, then make them required reading for their courses, at exorbitant prices that end up lining their own pockets.
It could be a net-positive for taxpayers subsidizing digital courses and textbooks. When balanced against the costs of expanded physical facilities, road traffic, tuition waivers and aid grants, as well as the economic benefit of more people earning a degree (resulting in higher income tax revenue), a free, digital future is something to look forward to, not fear.
So what if textbook publishers go the way of dinosaurs...no one's holding them back from competing on price and profit margins.