19 Sep 2007

American Samoa Education Department head upset by diversion of unspent money

10:33 am on 19 September 2007

American Samoa's Director of Education Dr. Claire Poumele says she is very disappointed that DOE funds are being reprogrammed when there are not enough school buses and no local funding to support sports programmes in schools.

Dr. Poumele says the unspent funds in the DOE budget were for more than 30 unfilled positions including teaching jobs.

The teacher jobs required bachelors and Masters degrees and the department was unable to find qualified applicants.

The Director of Education was hoping to obtain approval to use the leftover funds to purchase urgently needed new school buses and help fund school athletic programmes.

She says school sports activities cannot be paid for with federal grants and there is no local money appropriated for athletic programmes in schools.

Dr. Poumele says she only learned about the diversion of the money after the bill was introduced.