American Samoa's department of education says it's trying to bolster the language and development skills of teachers, in light of poor teacher performance figures.
While the department tries to push a proposal that will require teachers be proficient in both Samoan and English, others say the focus needs to be on the quality of teachers.
Department of Education figures show from 2007 to 2011 just 26 percent of teachers passed reading tests and 38 percent writing.
And 41 percent of public school teachers have no teaching qualification.
The special assistant to the director of education, Dr Amy Blizzard, says the language proposal is about focussing on best preparing the teachers they have.
"The problem has always been systemic here on hiring teachers. We can't get off-island teachers because the pay is so poor. So, again, they are trying to play to the strengths of the teaching pool that we can access."
The special assistant to the director of education, Dr Amy Blizzard.