The Washington Post/Getty Images Education Department officials announced Monday that all of the nation’s public schools will be free to offer free online textbooks this year.
The change comes as the Department of Education grapples with the massive enrollment surge the Affordable Care Act has unleashed as students flock to schools to find affordable coverage for their healthcare and education costs.
In a statement, the Education Department said the move is designed to reduce the costs of textbooks and other materials by providing free access to them.
It said it has seen more than 2.5 million online requests for textbooks, and the department expects the new initiative to generate about $1 billion in revenue for schools.
The department’s free online program will apply to nearly 40 million students in the public and private sector, and it’s expected to bring in about $300 million a year.
It will also include more than 700,000 teachers and other educators.