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Schumer urges Long Island school districts to apply for newly replenished federal cybersecurity grants

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) at Manhasset schools on Long Island.
Courtesy Office of Senator Chuck Schumer
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U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) at Manhasset schools on Long Island.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer visited Long Island schools this week to encourage officials to apply for recently renewed cybersecurity grants. This comes after school districts across Long Island have been hit by more than a dozen attacks since 2018, including Manhasset schools in September.

Schumer said the recent passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill will authorize $1 billion be given to the Department of Homeland Security cybersecurity grant program. It provides money to schools across the country to recover from cyber attacks.

“It will help Long Island school districts both prevent future cyber attacks and pay for damage that they will have incurred dealing with cyber attacks,” said Schumer.

Funds from the cybersecurity program can be used by schools across the country to fund computer software upgrades and repair school technology. The money cannot be used to pay off ransoms.

Schumer said schools know how to defend against these attacks but it is expensive, and taxpayers shouldn’t be asked to pay for damages.

“It’s time to hit control-alt-delete on these cyber villains,” said Schumer.

Schumer said school districts should start applying now for the funding, even for those that have not been attacked.

Clare is a former news fellow with WSHU Public Radio.