Education Secretary Betsy DeVos defends deep budget cuts to programs including Special Olympics while urging Congress to spend more on charter schools
The chairman of the Special Olympics responded to the proposed federal budget cuts on Wednesday, saying the work the money supports is "critical" to education.
Timothy Shriver added that lessons taught in schools through Education Department-funded programs "are critically the responsibility not just of the volunteer sector but of our elected leaders." His response came two days after President Donald Trump's Education Secretary Betsy DeVos caused a stir when she defended a $ 17.6 million federal funding. cut to the Special Olympics.
DeVos argued the organization would be better supported through philanthropy, adding: "We had some difficult decisions with this budget."
Shriver said the Department of Education, along with state agencies and local authorities, contracts with the Special Olympics to provide educational services in schools that support children with special needs.
The program supporting Special Olympics athletes, rather, is "built on the backs of volunteers and philanthropists. This is not the work being funded by the United States Department. of Education. "
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DeVos' defense drew backlash from activists and athletes, who emphasized the importance of the Special Olympics.
But DeVos accused "the media and some members" of twisting facts.
"The Special Olympics is not a federal program. It's a private organization. . "But given our current budget realities, the federal government cannot find any worthy program, especially those that enjoy robust support from private donations." Follow Sean Rossman on Twitter: @SeanRossman ]
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