House Dems Introduce Bill to Boost Cybersecurity in K-12 Schools

Reps. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., and Doris Matsui, D-Calif., introduced a bill Oct. 16 to improve cybersecurity at K-12 schools. The Enhancing K-12 Cybersecurity Act would work to promote more access to security information, better track attack trends, and increase the number of cybersecurity experts in schools.

The bill would establish a $400 million grant program – the K-12 Cybersecurity Human Capacity grant program – at the National Science Foundation to address cyber threats through expanding workforce capacity and improving cyber infrastructure.

“With millions of students and families relying on online connectivity for remote learning during this public health crisis, we must ensure cybersecurity is a top priority and that the networks schools are using are safe and secure,” Rep. Langevin said in a statement. “This legislation will help promote cybersecurity, protect student privacy and prevent interruptions to distance learning.”

In addition to the grant program, the bill would:

  • Direct the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to establish a Cybersecurity Clearinghouse to disseminate information, best practices, and grant opportunities to improve cybersecurity; and
  • Direct CISA to establish a Cybersecurity Registry to track cyberattacks on elementary and secondary schools.

“As children and their families adjust to a new learning environment, this bill will help ensure that we are protecting students from cyber threats that have been on the rise,” Rep. Matsui said. “The Enhancing K-12 Cybersecurity Act will provide needed resources for our schools, and prepare our cyberinfrastructure for the threats of tomorrow.”

Jordan Smith
About Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is MeriTalk SLG's Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.