Ads by Google Ads by Google

Community Briefs



On September 17, 2015, American Samoa Department of Education (ASDOE) received an electronic confirmation from Ms. Nancy Sharkey of the U.S. DOE awarding a $7 million Institute of Education Science (IES) to ASDOE for the next 5 years.


Director of ASDOE Vaitinasa Dr. Salu Hunkin-Finau extended her appreciation thanking Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga for his encouragement to “think outside the box” and to take advantage of the possibilities the federal government has to offer to improve the quality of the educational services for the youth of the Territory. Equally so, “I want to congratulate Tupua Roy Fua, DOE Grant Director and Marty Mamea, Director of DOE’s Chancery Office for their time and effort in developing this grant proposal”.


ASDOE recognizes that a high quality, efficient State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) is critical for providing the timely, accurate data needed to drive higher accomplishments, and reduce achievement gaps among our students. The SLDS will also assist in answering key education policy questions by providing all stakeholders the evidence based data. This project will allow the student information systems in American Samoa to become interoperable and minimize the administrative burden of manual data entry that is currently time consuming and prone to error.


Vaitinasa emphasized that “ASDOE must continue to address the shortfalls of the existing system and increase the efficiency of data transfer from ASDOE to institutions of higher education while providing robust, secure mechanisms for validating and ensuring consistency of data integrity.”


ASDOE’s LDS project will build upon two Priorities:


•     Early Learning: To link early childhood data to K12 student data in order to better understand the characteristics and quality of early learning services provided in the territory, access to and use of these services by low income children and families, and the correlation between participation in early learning programs and subsequent student outcomes.


•     College and Career Readiness: to assess students’ college and career readiness in order to improve their postsecondary education and workforce outcomes.




Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Aumua Amata during the House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access hearing, held last week Thursday to examine the negative impact that the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) has had on small lenders since its enactment in 2010, asked specifically for a discussion relating to community banks.


“At a time when American Samoa, the territory I represent, is desperately trying to establish a community bank, these regulations are figuratively choking the life out of any such possibility,” said Amata. “Can you please discuss how credit-risk works for community banks, and any other factors that may prevent the start-up of a community bank?”


So far, Dodd-Frank has required nearly 400 new rules; and as of July 15, 2015, 247 rules have been implemented and 60 proposed. Statistically, this means that approximately 21 percent of the rules from the law are still outstanding. Additionally, Dodd-Frank is estimated to have created $24 billion in compliance costs and 61 million paperwork burden hours since its inception. These deficiencies and the uncertainty of future rules have created additional hurdles to the start-up of new lenders.


“The stifling of credit unions is another concern of mine. The arbitrary cap placed on the amount they can lend is causing adversity and I know that communities like American Samoa could certainly use their assistance,” continued Amata.


“The Bank of Hawaii cannot be considered a reliable source for our small businesses to turn to in difficult times, because they are hesitant to be in American Samoa in the first place,” stated the congresswoman. “The only other option for our people is the ANZ Bank, which operates out of Australia. It is high time that Washington create the type of regulations and rules that will allow U.S. banks to serve those areas in which lending avenues are limited,” concluded Amata.