“Intermediate units and schools collect and store a digital footprint for every student from Kindergarten through graduation and beyond.
Student and family data is the new gold, and IUs and schools are a treasure trove for cyber criminals.”
– Scott Major, BCIU Chief Information Officer
A joint hearing of the Senate Education and Communications and Technology Committees was held on Tuesday, October 18, 2022, to gather information for developing a plan for protecting student data in Pennsylvania. Mr. Scott Major, BCIU Chief Information Officer, provided testimony on behalf of the Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Units (PAIU) regarding this critical issue as it pertains to Pennsylvania’s 29 intermediate units in their efforts to provide education and services to the 1.7 million children in Pennsylvania.
During his testimony, Mr. Major highlighted the efforts of IUs to ensure the data received, utilized, and stored is handled appropriately, confidentially, and managed judiciously to protect private information. Joining Mr. Major on the first of two panels was Mr. Charlie Reisinger, Chief Information Officer of the Penn Manor School District, who testified from a school district perspective.
Mr. Major’s testimony reinforced the need for a statewide framework to provide support and identify measures and sets of protocols to place a structure around protecting sensitive data. In addition to stressing the value of the implementation of a statewide network, his testimony emphasized the need for appropriate state funding and resources to accompany the implementation of any new requirements for protecting student data.
He also shared that intermediate units have the technical knowledge, are perfectly placed, and stand ready to share expertise and participate in solution-oriented approaches to improve all aspects of education provision across the Commonwealth.
Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill, Majority Chair of the Communications and Technology Committee, presided over the hearing. She thanked Mr. Major and Mr. Reisinger, stating that their testimony provided them with a tremendous roadmap of what was needed to develop a plan for addressing the student privacy issue across the Commonwealth.