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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos proposes cutting funding for Special Olympics in new budget

The New York Daily News - 3/27/2019

March 27-- Mar. 27--Education Secretary Betsy DeVos proposed eliminating federal spending on the Special Olympics in the 2020 budget she sent to Congress -- a plan panned as "cruel" and "reckless" by House Democrats Tuesday.

At a hearing Tuesday before the education subcommittee of the powerful House Appropriations panel, DeVos came under harsh criticism for cutting nearly $18 million from the department's budget for the event for disabled children.

"I believe this budget is cruel, and I believe it is reckless," said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., who leads the subcommittee. "I really am left with a very serious question for you: How can you support this budget? I mean that genuinely."

"I still can't understand why you would go after disabled children in your budget. It's appalling," said Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif.

But DeVos defended the proposal, claiming she was attempting to control spending.

"This reduction is similar to last year's request, and the year before that, as well. I acknowledge that you rejected those recommendations," she said.

The Democrats did not control the House in 2016 or 2017.

DeVos' budget also contains a $5 billion tax-credit for families to send their children to private schools. Devos, whose husband founded a charter school, calls the credit "education freedom."

In total, DeVos' proposed fiscal year 2020 Department of Education budget is slashed by $8.5 billion, or 12 percent, from FY2019. Programs that would be affected include ones for after-school activities for children in poverty, grants for textbooks, equipment, counseling services, mental health services, and safety equipment, according to the Chicago Tribune.

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