An Act To Create a Digital Portal for Education
Emergency preamble. Whereas, acts and resolves of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and
Whereas, there is not currently a digital portal for schools, colleges, universities and individuals to access available digital texts and online courses; and
Whereas, educational opportunities for students and individuals would be improved through easier access to digital texts and online courses; and
Whereas, those educational opportunities should be in place before the start of the 2015-2016 school year; and
Whereas, in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,
Sec. 1. 20-A MRSA c. 805 is enacted to read:
DIGITAL PORTAL FOR EDUCATION
§ 19301. Digital portal for education established
The commissioner shall establish a digital portal for education of digital texts, online courses of study, interactive distance learning courses and other distance learning courses, delivered via a computer-based method offered by school administrative units, private schools, public and private postsecondary institutions and other nonprofit or for-profit course providers for sharing with other school administrative units, private schools, public and private postsecondary institutions and individuals.
§ 19302. Digital texts and online courses
§ 19303. Fees
Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this legislation takes effect when approved.
This bill creates a digital portal for education, which makes digital texts and online courses available to all students through a common statewide platform administered by the Commissioner of Education. This bill allows providers of digital texts and online courses to install them onto the portal at their own expense and set the fee charged for enrollment in or subscription to the digital text or online course. The commissioner is required to maintain a catalog of available digital texts and online courses.