Published: Fri, March 29, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Defends Trump Administration’s Elimination of Special Olympics Funding

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Defends Trump Administration’s Elimination of Special Olympics Funding

She defended the move by saying that the Special Olympics raises more than $100 million philanthropically every year, and that the government can not fund every worthy programme, particularly ones that enjoy robust support from private donors. It has enabled children with intellectual disabilities to be more outgoing says Michael Wakeford, a special education teacher and Unified Sports coach at the school.

This includes $18 million that the federal government grants to Special Olympics. Pocan asked, following up on another question about school suspensions. It celebrates the contributions of children and adults with intellectual disabilities, a class of people who are often abused and ignored, "giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts", according to the group's mission statement.

She went on to point out existing funding that would continue to support students with disabilities.

There was no sign that Congress was going to agree to defund the popular Special Olympics program in spite of Trump's proposal.

"The Special Olympics will be funded, I just told my people", Trump said as he departed the White House for a rally in MI and then a weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

"When we hear soundbites and stuff that comes out of Washington, DC, sometimes we don't have a clear understanding of how that trickles down and impacts people here in Lansing, Michigan", said Anne Goudie, Special Olympics Area Director A8.

Kennedy has said in the past that he was "raised in a family [with a] very personal [commitment] to helping those [with] disabilities", a stance that was apparent in his response to DeVos's proposal.

The US Special Olympics chapter provides trainings and competitions in 18 sports, including soccer, swimming, equestrian and basketball. "This is a new Special Olympics".

DeVos' budget places the Special Olympics funding among 29 programs up for elimination in 2020, arguing that they have achieved their goal or that they are ineffective, don't meet national needs or are better funded from other sources.

The budget has already been finalized and sent to Congress, so it's not actually clear what he meant.

Asked on Thursday how many applications had been approved since the judge's order was issued, DeVos said she didn't know but that officials are "reviewing them regularly". "I want to fund the Special Olympics, and I just authorized a funding of the Special Olympics".

DeVos told the committee that she loved the Special Olympics and had contributed a portion of her salary to the organization.

DeVos's remarks came just one day after she was grilled by lawmakers on Capitol Hill during a House Appropriations subcommittee about the budget cuts. DeVos tweeted about her priorities Tuesday, writing: "In the end, budgets are about priorities".

The Special Olympics budget cut is baffling, given the popularity of the program and the relatively low cost in terms of the budget.

On Thursday, DeVos said she was speaking for the administration, not herself, in defending the plan. "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.

Like this: