|April 23, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|WASHINGTON, D.C.—FALEOMAVAEGA GETS $500,000 FOR ASCC TO ESTABLISH A COMPUTER LAB|
| Congressman Faleomavaega
announced today that Congress has approved his request to provide ASCC
with $500,000 to establish a computer lab for faculty and student use.
“On April 29 of last year, I submitted a request to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Education,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “The Appropriations Committees in both the House and Senate are responsible in part for funding the operations of federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education.”
“Members of Congress may submit their funding requests to the Subcommittees which have responsibility for the request,” Faleomavaega explained. “In this case, I submitted a request to the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Education. However, ASCC funding is usually provided by Interior Appropriations and is distributed to ASCC by the American Samoa Government.”
“It is my understanding that ASCC then prioritizes its funds to be used for projects that it believes are most needed to assist our students in their pursuit of higher education,” the Congressman said. “Although ASCC and its governing board have determined that the establishment of a computer lab is a high priority, funding for this project has been limited due to other competing priorities.”
“For this reason, I did not want to make a public announcement that I had requested $500,000 to assist Dr. Satele-Galea’i in her efforts to establish a computer lab because I did not want to disappoint the students at ASCC if Congress was unable to support this request,” Faleomavaega said.
“However, in accordance with the guidelines of the Subcommittee, I submitted a project questionnaire identifying ASCC as the grant recipient and I included the name, address and phone number of Dr. Adele Satele-Galea’i to be used as a point of contact. I am pleased that the U.S. Department of Education informed Dr. Satele-Galea’i on March 27, 2003 that ASCC had been identified in the FY 2003 Department of Education appropriations as the recipient of a Congressionally authorized grant for $500,000.”
“I am also pleased to report that these funds are not competitive. In other words, ASCC does not have to enter a grant competition or compete in any way to obtain these funds. Instead, Congress has directed that these funds be automatically sent to ASCC for the specific purpose of establishing a computer lab. To expedite receipt of these funds, ASCC must submit a 10 page proposal required by the U.S. Department of Education to ensure that the funds are spent in accordance with federal guidelines.”
“As I noted in my statement before the Subcommittee on April 29, 2002, the establishment of a computer lab at ASCC will provide our students with the opportunity to bridge the digital divide and engage in research and discourse that extends beyond the boundaries of our local villages,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “Currently, our students are at a disadvantage nationally due to isolation and limited local resources.”
“Like I have said before, most states pay for 90% of the costs of educating their children. Put another way, the federal government pays less than 7% of the costs associated with educating a child living in the states. This is why states collect taxes from businesses, wealthy individuals and property owners. By collecting local taxes, states can pay for the costs of education.”
“However, in American Samoa, it is the opposite. The federal government pays most of the costs associated with educating our children. In fact, for K-12, American Samoa gets $2,800 per child in federal funds while the states only get $600 per child,” Congressman Faleomavaega said.
“But even with federal assistance, many of our students are still unable to leave the island to pursue higher education. This is why ASCC’s role in our community is so critical. ASCC provides our students with the opportunity to pursue a two-year degree and I am pleased that many of our ASCC graduates become teachers in our public schools.”
“As I explained in the project questionnaire that I submitted to the Subcommittee, a state of the art computer lab at ASCC will provide our students with increased opportunities for learning and will also make a positive impact on K-12 education in American Samoa,” Congressman Faleomavaega said.
“Given the significance of this project, I am pleased that the Subcommittee chose to favorably support my request of $500,000 for assisting ASCC in its efforts to establish a computer lab. I am also hopeful that the Subcommittee will support the requests I have submitted on behalf of ASCC for FY04. After discussions with Dr. Satele-Galea’i, I have submitted requests for $500,000 to purchase books and research materials for the ASCC library and $500,000 to upgrade the Trades, Industries and Technology Program at ASCC.”
“Once again, I want to thank Dr .Satele-Galea’i for her leadership, commitment and support,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “I also want to thank the Chairman and the Board of Higher Education for working to provide our students with the tools they need to succeed. Together, we are making a difference and together we are building a better tomorrow.”
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