Historic Summit Strengthens Collaboration to Enhance K-12 School Infrastructure and Protect Educational Data

Washington, D.C. (August 7, 2023) – CoSN, the premier professional association for K-12 EdTech leaders, applauds the Biden Administration’s decision to host the first-ever White House Cybersecurity Summit for K-12 Schools.

“We commend First Lady Jill Biden, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas for their leadership in convening this crucial gathering of school superintendents, educators, and education technology vendors to tackle the relentless cyberattacks targeting our nation’s schools,” said Keith R. Krueger, CEO of CoSN, who is participating in the White House Summit. “The time for action is now. Our students’ and educators’ data remains at risk, and school systems are paying the price for being ‘soft targets’ for cybercriminals.”

The growing number of ransomware and other cyberattacks on school districts, spanning from major cities to small towns, has become the number one concern for EdTech leaders working on the frontlines to confront this challenge. Schools too often face limited resources, expert staffing shortfalls and inadequate technology to defend themselves from the evolving and complex cyberattacks they encounter. The Summit marks a pivotal moment for collaboration and partnership among government agencies, private industry leaders, and education stakeholders, aimed at bolstering schools’ online infrastructure and safeguarding our students, educators and sensitive educational data.

“CoSN is encouraged by the prospect of participants working together to share insights and expertise, foster threat intelligence sharing, and explore innovative strategies for securing school networks. We appreciate the new government resources, as well as the commitment by the private industry in supporting the educational community’s battle against cyber threats,” said Diane Doersch, Chair of CoSN, who is participating in the Summit. “We are particularly pleased that dozens of superintendent leaders who actively participate in the CoSN/AASA EmpowerED Superintendent initiative were invited to be part of the convening.”

In related news, CoSN deeply appreciates FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s recent announcement to champion the establishment of a cybersecurity pilot program for schools and libraries. CoSN has long advocated for the FCC to modernize the E-rate program to help schools defend themselves from cyberattacks, and the Chairwoman’s proposed pilot program is a significant step forward. Given the urgency of the cybersecurity crisis in K-12 education, CoSN hopes for prompt action.

CoSN remains committed to supporting the outcomes of the summit and working collaboratively with all stakeholders to enhance the protection of school networks and the confidentiality of student and personnel data they contain. CoSN also extends sincere gratitude to the White House, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for participating in the summit, underscoring the importance of addressing cybersecurity concerns in our nation’s educational institutions.

To learn more about CoSN’s extensive cybersecurity resources — including the CoSN Cybersecurity Staffing Resource for K-12, Making the Case for Increased Investment in Cybersecurity: A Primer for K-12 Districts, and the K-12CVAT: K-12 Community Vendor Assessment Tool — visit CoSN.org.

About CoSN

CoSN is the premier professional association designed to meet the needs of K-12 EdTech leaders, their teams and other district leaders. CoSN provides thought leadership resources, community, best practices and advocacy tools to help edtech leaders succeed in the digital transformation. CoSN represents over 13 million students and continues to grow as a powerful and influential voice in K-12 education. CoSN.org

Makenzie Carlin, mcarlin@fratelli.com, (703) 967-6954