NFFV Action Request

Upcoming Education Hearing

Monday, March 6, 2023

1:30 PM, Room 1525


LB638 Nebraska K-12 Cybersecurity and Data Protection Act

What is the drive behind LB638?

LB638 is designed to better protect K-12 computer system from hostile internet attacks. The bill's stated purpose is "to promote and institute protective cybersecurity measures in alignment with best practices which address prevention, mitigation, response, recovery, and establish systematized response relating to cybersecurity and data protection within the Nebraska school system".

Unfortunately this bill is a sign of the times we live in. Cybersecurity has become a real issue that has hit close to home a number of times. CHI Health in Lincoln had its computer system hacked, giving unknown parties access to sensitive patient information and medical records. You can get more information about CHI's cyberattack here.

Are schools really targets for ransomware attacks?

We all have heard about "high profile" targets of cyberattacks. We may think power companies, hospital systems, and banks as the more likely targets. Most often schools are not part of that conversation, however, Iowa has had a number of attacks in their school districts across the state. That list includes: Des Moines Public Schools, Glenwood Community School DistrictCedar Rapids Community School District, the Linn-Mar Community School District and the Davenport Community School District.

LB638 would take steps to strengthen Nebraska schools from cyberattacks.

What are the outcomes of an attack?

Outcomes of cyberattacks vary greatly. First, there is a risk to student, teacher, and parent information being stolen and sold. Information could range from grades, bullying reports, and social security numbers to name a few. Second, there is a monetary cost to cyberattacks. Officials reported loses to school districts could range from $50,000 to $1 million. Costs may include replacing computer hardware, IT support, and making up lost school days. In the Des Moines Public Schools case, they were forced to pay $10,000 to regain access to their own systems.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office has an informative article covering the increase in cyberattacks on K-12 schools.

How Can I help?

Take action, your voice is powerful make it heard. LB638 committee hearing is scheduled Monday, March 6, 2023.

How to be heard? Here are three ways:

  • Most EffectiveTestify in person. Going to the Committee hearing and sharing YOUR story with committee member Senators is very impactful. For first time in person testifier here are some helpful hints
  • Very EffectiveSubmit written testimony. If you can't be there in person then submit written testimony. Not sure how to do that, click hereNote; written testimony needs to be submitted by noon the business day before the committee hearing.
  • EffectiveEmail your position letter to the Committee Senators and CC your own Senator. For a listing of the Education Committee Senators click hereNote; emails need to be sent by noon the business day before the committee hearing. It's not likely these emails will be included in official hearing minutes though there is a better chance Committee Senators will see your comments. You can request they be added to meeting minutes in your email to Committee Senators.

Not sure what to say?

Listed below are thought starters. Build your story around one or two of them. Quantity is not as important as a short heart felt personal story.


Here are three arguments to support this bill on:

  • There is a steady growing increase in cyberattacks on K-12 schools. If Nebraska doesn't do something proactively they will be forced to do something reactively which is almost always more painful.

  • Proactively protecting student, teacher, and parent data is important on numerous fronts. Most importantly, if can leave kids vulnerable to emotional, physical, and financial harm.

  • Cyberattacks are costly with some exceeding $1 million. They disrupt school schedules and their ability to stay open.
Board of Directors Team