The U.S. Department of Education, in coordination with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, recently announced the launch of the Government Coordinating Council for the Education Facilities Subsector, a pivotal step forward in the national effort to enhance cybersecurity across K-12 educational institutions. This new council signifies an unprecedented level of collaboration between federal, state, tribal and local governments to protect schools from cybersecurity threats.  The Education Facilities Subsector is part of the Government Facilities Sector, one of 16 critical infrastructure sectors defined in Presidential Policy Directive 21.

In recent years, the K-12 cybersecurity landscape has become increasingly complex, with school districts across the country experiencing ransomware attacks that shut down schools and data breaches that expose sensitive health, financial and educational data on students, families and staff. The formation of the GCC is a direct response to these challenges, aiming to foster a more resilient and secure K-12 digital infrastructure through structured dialogue and shared best practices.

“The GCC embodies our commitment to ensuring the cybersecurity of our nation’s schools,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten in remarks delivered to K-12 educational leaders. “This initiative represents a monumental step forward in formalizing the partnership between federal, state, and local educational leaders in protecting our K-12 critical infrastructure.”

This collaborative effort builds on significant progress made by the USDOE in partnership with CISA, the FBI and other federal agencies.

The GCC’s inaugural meeting brought together a diverse group of educational stakeholders, including technology leaders, superintendents, school principals, as well as leaders from state agencies and educational service agencies to outline the GCC’s objectives and strategic direction.

The GCC marks a significant milestone in the implementation of the National Cybersecurity Strategy, promising a safer, more secure future for students, teachers and communities across the country.

Read more in the full news release.