Betsy DeVos Wants to Cut Funding for the Special Olympics and People Are Rightfully Furious
DeVos is looking to reinvest the money to make a coat from 101 dalmatian puppies.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, aka Aunt Lydia with money, has proposed a new budget for her department that cuts $7 billion from various programs. These cuts include eliminating the entire $18 million budget for the Special Olympics, a universally liked and supported program. DeVos defended her choices before a congressional committee yesterday saying, “We had to make some difficult decisions.”
Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan grilled the Secretary on the cuts, asking if she knew how many children would be affected. She didn’t and he quickly responded, “I’ll answer it for you, that’s OK, no problem. It’s 272,000 kids that are affected.” DeVos responded, “I think that the Special Olympics is an awesome organization, one that is well supported by the philanthropic sector as well.” You can watch more of their exchange below:
In @BetsyDeVosED’s budget, there are major cuts to programs like the Special Olympics. Sec. DeVos didn’t know the number of kids who would be hurt by that cut, so I made sure she now knows that 272,000 kids are seeing their support taken away. pic.twitter.com/6ZiOfDU4Ou
— Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) March 26, 2019
DeVos has proposed cutting 26% funding to state grants for special education, in addition to cuts to programs for deaf and blind students. She also proposed a $51 million cut to programs focused on autism and other developmental disorders.
As this is the first time that DeVos is testifying before a Democrat-controlled House, she faced more scrutiny and questioning than she previously has. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said of the cuts, “”I believe this budget is cruel, and I believe that it is reckless. I believe that it will hurt the middle class and working, low-income families that most need our help … Madam Secretary, I have to say, and maybe it’s offensive: Shame on you.”
The Special Olympics budget cut is baffling, given the popularity of the program and the relatively low cost in terms of the budget. For perspective, $18 million is what taxpayers pay for five trips to Mar a Lago for the Trumps.
In addition, people are incensed that a billionaire like DeVos, who spent $40 million on a yacht and could easily fund the entire Special Olympics program, is looking to take funds from the most vulnerable citizens.
DeVos’s budget is nothing less than all-out attack on disabled and disadvantaged students. This begs the question: what is DeVos spending our money on? The answer is her pet project, charter schools, which the DOE sunk $1 billion into, with the result of a 25% failure—schools that either failed to open or were forced to close due to mismanagement.
The budget is unlikely to pass without major amendments, but the proposal and DeVos’s defense of it proves just how low the Trump administration is willing to sink, and how little they value the lives and education of those who aren’t billionaires. There truly is no bottom.
(via NBC News, image: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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