New legislation introduced in the House this week to Congress would allocate Federal granting funding to schools to promote cybersecurity education programs.

The Cybersecurity Grants for Schools Act of 2022, would require the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to distribute Federal funds to state and local schools to better educate the next generation about the cybersecurity landscape. The legislation would also provide financial assistance to nonprofit organizations and other non-Federal entities that are deemed appropriate by the CISA director.

The bill, which was introduced by Reps. Andrew R. Garbarino, R-N.Y., John Katko, R-N.Y., and Dina Titus, D-Nev., was approved by the House Committee on Homeland Security on March 2.

“Cybersecurity is essential for our national security and economic security. By incorporating cybersecurity into our school’s curriculum, alongside core subjects like math and science, we will be able to bring up the next generation with a strong foundation to not only protect themselves individually from cyber crimes but also to inspire greater participation in the cybersecurity workforce,” said Rep. Garbarino in a press release.

“The Cybersecurity Grants for Schools Act bolsters CISA’s ability to engage with institutions of higher education and make a meaningful impact on the nation’s shortage of cybersecurity professionals by investing in students early in their careers,” said Rep. Katko.

The Federal grants would be issued by the Cybersecurity Education and Training Assistance Program (CETAP) within CISA. CETAP was first authorized at CISA by the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act to provide cybersecurity resources and training for K-12 education.

The bill would build on and enhance the program “by adding the ability to provide the financial assistance needed to cultivate diverse cybersecurity professionals and tackle the workforce gap,” according to Rep. Garbarino.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk State and Local Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.