Weekly NewsBrief 7/29-8/4

News Clip


DeVos Wants to Prioritize Education Funding for Opportunity Zones – By Lauren Camera, US News and World Report

SECRETARY OF EDUCATION Betsy DeVos wants to prioritize federal education funding for areas of the country that qualify as opportunity zones – a move that if finalized, could shift hundreds of millions of dollars away from some communities and to others.

As part of the 2017 tax law, the Trump administration has certified more than 8,700 opportunity zones, which provide tax incentives to attract investment in business or real estate located within certain economically disadvantaged neighborhoods with the goal of revitalizing those areas. But it's unclear whether policies like opportunity zones actually benefit distressed communities at all, let alone move the needle on education achievement.

DeVos' proposal, published Monday in the Federal Register, would give priority to applicants who propose projects in those opportunity zones for more than 80 education grant competitions, which collectively total more than $700 million.

DeVos initially teased the idea in April, when in response to a question about how the Department of Education could partner with other agencies and invest more in vulnerable students, she told a group of state chief education officers that opportunity zones could do a lot to revitalize economically devastated neighborhoods that in turn could improve the lives of students who live there.


Universities are expanding cybersecurity education to meet broad demand – By Betsy Foresman, edscoop

The cybersecurity needs of organizations are becoming more interdisciplinary and, according to experts, so are the educational programs that prepare students for careers in the emerging field.

“Cybersecurity is no longer just an IT issue,” said Scott Shackelford, director of Indiana University’s new cybersecurity clinic. “It’s just something that, frankly, everybody should know the basics about.”

By 2022, the global cybersecurity workforce shortage is projected to reach upwards of 1.8 million unfilled positions, according to a 2017 workforce report from the Center for Cyber Safety and Education. Although more traditional cybersecurity jobs, like security and threat management, make up a large chunk of the open jobs, there is also a talent shortage in various sub-disciplines within cybersecurity, Shackelford said, and educational programs are responding to this need, emphasizing a foundational knowledge of cybersecurity across curriculums.

The earliest opportunities to study cybersecurity, roughly a decade ago, were much more limited than they are now, said Rodney Petersen, director of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education. Concentrations and minors, primarily available to computer science and engineering majors, were how many institutions first approached cybersecurity education, “but that has certainly shifted now,” he said.