Biden Administration announces school cybersecurity efforts for grades K-12

August 7, 2023

The Biden Administration on Monday unveiled new cybersecurity efforts aimed preventing hacking school computer systems in grades K-12.  

“In the 2022-23 academic year alone, at least eight K-12 school districts throughout the country were impacted by significant cyberattacks,” the White House said in a statement, adding that the hacks have led some schools to have to cancel classes, leading to a “loss of learning [that] ranged from three days to three weeks.”

The new efforts include the Education Department leading a Government Coordinating Council (GCC) that will coordinate activities, policy, and communications among federal and local education leaders to strengthen cybersecurity. 

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will establish the pilot program by providing up to $200 million over three years from the agency’s Universal Service Fund to beef up cybersecurity in schools and libraries. 

The Education Department has also teamed with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to jointly release a document called  K-12 Digital Infrastructure Brief: Defensible & Resilient, which the White House said was the second in a series offering guidance to education leaders “in building and sustaining core digital infrastructure for learning.”

The Biden Administration in Monday’s announcement did not promise any additional federal regulation to address the issue. Instead, it portrayed today’s announcement as the first step in an ongoing effort. 

First Lady Jill Biden, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Monday met with school administrators, educators and private sector companies to discuss the best ways to go about implementing new cybersecurity practices.

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