FCC is set to launch a three-year pilot program to enhance the cybersecurity efforts of the nation’s 50 million public school students.
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, applauds Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s efforts to bring to fruition a $200 million pilot program to safeguard our nation’s school cybersecurity efforts. Through a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), the FCC is set to launch a three-year pilot program to enhance the cybersecurity efforts of public schools and libraries nationwide.
Similar to the E-Rate schools and libraries universal service support program, the potential school resources will be transformative, allowing rural, suburban and urban districts to confront this growing threat to the safety, security, and privacy of 50 million public school students.
[Recently] at AASA’s Legislative Advocacy Conference breakfast, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced her proposal to advance a federal support for cybersecurity services for K-12 schools. Her call to action is the third phase of her broader Learn Without Limits initiative, an effort focused on making sure that students everywhere have access to secure high-speed internet access. Chairwoman Rosenworcel has built her career by focusing on expanding equitable access to connectivity for Americans, and her passion for connectivity for the nation’s schools and libraries via support for the E-Rate program has been tireless.
[This] announcement is a commonsense proposal: in an age where cybersecurity threats are only growing in scope, frequency and cost, it is irresponsible and reckless to not proactively address the critical needs schools and libraries face in navigating cybersecurity programs, threats and responses. AASA strongly supports the proposed pilot program and how it will help the FCC better understand what role the Universal Service Fund could play in helping K-12 schools and libraries protect their E-Rate-funded broadband networks and data, while improving schools’ and libraries’ ability to defend against cyberthreats. We applaud the Chairwoman for her commitment to equity, connectivity, and our nation’s schools, libraries and students. We look forward to working with our fellow education organizations and with our members to respond to the NPRM and to bringing this proposal to life.David R. Schuler, AASA’s executive director
The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking would seek comment on creating a pilot program within the Universal Service Fund, but separate from the E-Rate program, that will provide up to $200 million over three years for eligible schools and libraries to use to strengthen and protect their networks and data against cyberthreats and attacks. For more information about the pilot program, visit FCC.