Textbooks & Inclusive Access: UTSA & HB 1027

Defines inclusive access and summarizes HB 1027 transparency compliance.


HB 1027 (enacted): Relates to the disclosure of certain information regarding textbooks and learning content management systems by certain institutions of higher education (SPARC, 2021a). The thrust of HB 1027 and its advocates is increased student awareness, access and empowerment around course materials to support decision-making.


To comply with HB 1027, institutions should make good faith efforts to provide transparency around any courses using inclusive access at UTSA  by July 22, 2022 for Fall 2022: 30 days out from the start of class, per the bill text. All UT System schools are following this same timeline. 

Each course listing should include:

  • Any fee or charge associated with the course, such as a technology cost, library use cost, or printing or publication fee.
  • The full amount of any fee for course materials assessed by the institution or another entity under an agreement with the institution, including a statement regarding whether the fee or charge is included in the cost of tuition.
  • A description of any process that allows the student to opt out of a course materials fee.
  • If a course material is in a primarily electronic format, the terms under which the provider collects and uses student data obtained through a student’s use of the course material.
  • If an institution designates certain courses as having low-cost course materials (or a similar category, such as “affordable course materials,” “low-cost/no-cost,” etc.), the course schedule must include the criteria for that category (or a link to the criteria) in a prominent location.
  • If an institution charges a student an automatic billing program fee, it must itemize that fee separately from any other fees or charges assessed for a course in the billing to the student.
  • Any agreement between an institution of higher education and an entity under which the institution agrees to assess or allows the entity to assess a course materials fee to students is public information under Chapter 552, Government Code.

Compliance Challenges

In spirit, HB 1027 empowers students’ decision-making with easy access to information about their course materials.  However, at a larger institution like UTSA, implementing HB 1027’s reporting requirements may: 

  • Require a time-consuming manual aggregation process.

  • Result in incomplete reporting despite staff’s best efforts. 

  • The issues that arose with SB 810 (2017) appear to be the same with HB 1027 (2021) around faculty reporting. 

  • Reporting requires planning and programming in UTSA data systems, including the course schedule, Simple Syllabus, and possibly more to integrate the necessary data.   

  • HB 1027 ll puts the onus on UTSA to collect commercial publishers’ privacy notices, terms of service, and terms of use and integrate them into the course schedule. This may be problematic in practice, as a high level of cooperation is needed from  commercial publishers.