Amata Expects Record Federal Funding for American Samoa in 2021, Additional Millions for Schools
Washington, D.C. – Wednesday, Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata said that American Samoa can now expect a second straight year of record federal funding in 2021 — up to an approximate $511 million in special funding and a new education investment of up to $150 million in American Samoa — as part of the $1.9 trillion relief package passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and sent to President Biden to be signed into law.
Specifically, Congress allocated over $2 billion to be divided among four insular areas governments (American Samoa, Guam, CNMI, USVI) resulting in an estimate of up to $511 million for American Samoa.
“My priority has been equitable treatment with the states, as expressed in my letters to President Biden and Chairman Manchin, and working together the territories have had success,” Congresswoman Amata said. “In addition to direct COVID relief and vaccine assistance, there will be major new funding for education, and it will be exciting to see the outcome of this investment in our schools.”
Congresswoman Amata at the U.S. Capitol
Specifically, Congress set aside $850 million for the U.S. Secretary of Education to disperse in school grants among the Insular areas. American Samoa’s K-12 school system will be eligible for up to an approximate $150 million for school improvement grants from these funds, including infrastructure. Separately, ASCC will qualify for improvements and funding as well.
“The direct payments to individuals of $1,400 will begin going out shortly after the bill officially becomes law,” Amata continued. “Small business programs will soon have additional support, along with various programs through ASG, such as nutrition assistance, qualified unemployment assistance and other federal grants.”
Congress also allocated $7 billion nationwide for broadband deployment and improvements in rural or economically challenged areas.
“Congress allocates funds, then the various federal departments and agencies will be more specific in the distribution,” Amata continued. “American Samoa can now expect a number of federal grants such as followed the CARES Act a year ago. I will continue to keep you informed.”
This is the sixth COVID relief and economic aid bill passed by Congress since March 2020.