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Grant Will Fund $2B in CC-BY OER

I’m simply ecstatic to say that this deal is finally done! Rather than write up my own announcement, I’ll reuse Timothy Vollmer‘s.

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.”

Beth Noveck, professor of law and former U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer and Director of the White House Open Government Initiative, said, “The decision to make the work product of $2 billion in federally funded grants free for others to reuse represents a historic step forward for open education. The Departments of Labor and Education are to be congratulated for adopting more open grantmaking practices to ensure that taxpayer money funds the widest possible distribution of this important job-training courseware.”

Congratulations to The Department of Labor, The Department of Education, and others involved in crafting this important, innovative program. Creative Commons is committed to leveraging this opportunity to create a multiplier effect for public dollars to be used on open, reuseable quality content.