The US Departments of Labor and Education have committed $2 billion (with a “B”) towards grants for creating “open” educational resources. A stipulation of the grants requires that all information produced with their funding be published under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License, also known as CC-BY 3.0.
Today Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the solicitation for grant applications under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program (TAACCCT). Over the course of 4 years, the program will invest $2 billion “to provide community colleges and other eligible institutions of higher education with funds to expand and improve their ability to deliver education and career training programs.” The program supports President Obama’s goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020 by helping to increase the number of workers who attain degrees, certificates and other industry recognized credentials. The first round of funding will be $500 million over the next year. Applications to the solicitation are now open, and will be due April 21, 2011.
The full program announcement (PDF) requires that resources created using grant funds be released under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license:
In order to further the goal of career training and education and encourage innovation in the development of new learning materials, as a condition of the receipt of a Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant (“Grant”), the Grantee will be required to license to the public (not including the Federal Government) all work created with the support of the grant (“Work”) under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (“License”). This License allows subsequent users to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt the copyrighted work and requires such users to attribute the work in the manner specified by the Grantee. Notice of the License shall be affixed to the Work. For more information on this License, please visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0.
Cathy Casserly, incoming CEO of Creative Commons, said, “This exciting program signifies a massive leap forward in the sharing of education and training materials. Resources licensed under CC BY can be freely used, remixed, translated, and built upon, and will enable collaboration between states, organizations, and businesses to create high quality OER. This announcement also communicates a commitment to international sharing and cooperation, as the materials will be available to audiences worldwide via the CC license.”
More analysis at Cairns Blog (via the twitterverse)
While I would personally prefer that they use the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license, which requires users of the data to similarly share their own output, this is still pretty exciting!