One day after being strongly criticized for releasing a budget proposal that calls for the removal of federal funding for the Special Olympics, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has definitely taken it well, releasing a statement professing her outrage about being attacked...while at the same time confirming that she is doing exactly what her critics are accusing her of doing.
“It is unacceptable, shameful and counterproductive that the media and some members of Congress have spun up falsehoods and fully misrepresented the facts,” DeVos’ statement began. But, after some paragraphs about different parts of the budget proposal, she admitted, “The Special Olympics is not a federal program. It’s a private organization. I love its work, and I have personally supported its mission...Given our current realities, the federal government cannot fund every worthy program...”
In other words, she is livid that people are attacking her for wanting to defund the Special Olympics, and also, she wants to defund the Special Olympics.
According to the Washington Post, the Education Department set aside $17,583,000 for the Special Olympics for the current fiscal year. Under the proposed budget for 2020, funding for the program would be cut completely. Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan also criticized DeVos on Tuesday for the cut, emphasizing that the cancellation would affect 272,000 children.
Clearly, with nowhere else to point fingers, DeVos is disingenuously defending the department’s commitment to students with disabilities because it’s easier than taking responsibility herself.
Update, 2:30 p.m. ET: A response from the Senate.