North Dakota became the first state in the U.S. to require public schools to teach cybersecurity and computer science. Republican Gov. Doug Burgum signed the new law on March 24.
“Today is the culmination of years of work by stakeholders from all sectors to recognize and promote the importance of cybersecurity and computer science education in our elementary, middle and high schools,” said North Dakota School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler at the signing ceremony.
Baesler said the state aims to integrate and underscore the importance of computer science and cybersecurity instruction in K-12 schools.
North Dakota’s EduTech, a division of the state’s information technology support for its educators, will develop examples of cybersecurity and computer science plans that administrators and teachers can use to assist schools in developing their own plans.
Passage of House Bill 1398 is part of Burgum’s initiative aimed at ensuring students have the skills to succeed in a technology-driven economy.
“Our students have more access than ever to computers and technology devices in our schools. It’s crucial that our students also learn cyber safety skills,” Burgum said in a press release. “The ability to manage technology is also important in helping our North Dakota students to get good jobs. Employers look for students who have the skills to take on tech challenges and cyberattacks, and complete daily tasks using technology devices.”