|July 28, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|WASHINGTON, D.C.—AMERICAN SAMOA TO GET NEARLY $6 MILLION FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS|
Faleomavaega announced today that American Samoa will get nearly $6 million
for Special Education programs for FY 03.
“This money is in addition to the $33 million per year that Congress directs the Department of the Interior to give to American Samoa. This is also in addition to over $18 million per year that Congress directs the U.S. Department of Education to send to American Samoa,” Congressman Faleomavaega said.
“For purposes of improving our special education programs, I am pleased that Congress has now set aside $5,816,515 per year for American Samoa. This money will be made available for FY 03 and Congress also has included a provision for providing minimum increases in our funding.”
“Once again, I believe it is important to explain how federal education funding works. The average state gets only $600 per student in federal aid for mainstream education. In other words, states have to come up with their own money to pay for the costs of education. Some states come up with $5,400 per student to add to the $600 in federal aid and this then equates to $6,000 per student. But let us be clear about these numbers. This is not $6,000 in federal aid. Rather, this is a combination of $5,400 in state funding plus $600 in federal aid,” Faleomavaega said.
“Put another way, states pay their education costs by taxing local businesses, wealthy individuals and property owners. By collecting local taxes, most states pay approximately 90% of the costs associated with educating their children. Given these facts, I continue to be thankful that the federal government does not make us pay 90% of our education costs. Instead, the federal government gives American Samoa almost $2,800 per student in federal aid or more federal aid on a per student basis than any other state or territory.”
“In addition to this funding, I am now pleased that both the House and Senate have agreed to direct the U.S. Department of Education to set aside nearly $6 million to assist American Samoa in better serving individuals with disabilities aged 3 through 21. As always, I thank my colleagues for their support and I commend our local Department of Education and our teachers for working together to make sure that the money Congress gives us is being used to make a difference for generations to come,” the Congressman concluded.
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