So, who pays for all of this free stuff? Education has the benefit of substantial philanthropic support—both non-profit and for-profit organizations have and will benefit from foundation grants. But the innovations likely to achieve scale and impact will have a business model behind them. In this regard, Wireless Generation is showing the way; they launched FreeReading.net, an open primary reading curriculum supported by fee-based assessment and training.
Here's an alternate vision: philanthropy and government grantmaking shifts it conceptual frame from funding non-profit and for-profit organizations to create proprietary information, to funding the growth and maintenance of an information commons. Why can't I access the planning, training, learning materials developed by KIPP, Big Picture Company, New Teacher Project, TFA, Green Dot, Harlem Success, etc? They're all non-profits, as far as I know none of them are dependent on licensing their IP to fund their operations, and they all get or have gotten a substantial amount of philanthropic and/or government funding. What if sharing their work had been a condition of their funding all along? What if leaders in philanthropy and government chose to switch to this path?
Institutions the size of our major grantmaking foundations, states, and the federal government can and should (and will, eventually) pay people to write freely licensed content for schools.
We don't need people taking a platform approach in the "Hey, I've got a website where you can park your textbooks or lesson plans or learning objects." It's nice to have, but that's not the problem. It isn't hard or expensive to host files.
You don't create sustainability around "free" and "open" resources by significantly limiting their use to eek out a few nickles to keep your webservers running. This is the Internet! You let people make copies, download the source, study it, reuse it, redistruibute it, and build their own businesses around the resources. That's what makes an information commons robust and sustained.