United States government criticised over plan to cut Special Olympics funding


DeVos has faced significant backlash this week over part of the administration's budget proposal that would eliminate $17.6 million for the Special Olympics.

"We had to make some hard decisions with this budget", DeVos said Tuesday in an exchange with Representative Mark Pocan, a Democrat, about the Special Olympics.

"But given our current budget realities, the federal government can not fund every worthy program, particularly ones that enjoy robust support from private donations", the education secretary said. She drew attention to the $13.2 billion in state grants, along with an additional $226 million for grants supporting teacher training and research to help students with disabilities.

The budget would also keep "the same level of funding for core special education programs, including grants to states under the department's Individuals with Disabilities Education Act", CNN reports.

"The Special Olympics will be funded", Mr. Trump told reporters at the White House before leaving for a rally in MI.

There was no indication whether anyone inside the administration fought to keep the Special Olympics funding. DeVos, a charter school advocate, said in her prepared statement that the budget has been set "so that families can find the best educational setting for their children".

Democratic Rep. Rosa DeLauro of CT told the hearing that "the three education budgets from this administration have proposed the largest cuts to education funding in four decades".

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Asked Thursday whether he supports the proposed cut, House Minority Leader Kevin, McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters, "No".

"If we weren't to receive that funding in 2020, it would be a major hit to our program, said Aaron Mills, Special Olympics Michigan communications director".

Instead, DeVos suggested that the sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and physical disabilities could be funded completely with charitable donations, as it's already "well-supported by the philanthropic sector".

"It is unacceptable, shameful and counterproductive that the media and some members of Congress have spun up falsehoods and fully misrepresented the facts", she said in a new statement - though she did not mention which facts have supposedly been misrepresented.

DeVos was challenged on the issue while testifying before a House subcommittee on Tuesday (March 26), after repeatedly saying that schools should not discriminate on the basis of "race, religion, and national origin". "No cutting Special Olympics". It's a private organization. "But given our current budget realities, the federal government can not fund every worthy program, particularly ones that enjoy robust support from private donations".

He abstained from criticizing the Trump administration for recommending cuts to an organisation that has been at the center of his life for the past 18 years.

Cue outrage. The Washington Post worked out.