United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos proposed cutting funding for the Special Olympics before a House subcommittee on Tuesday, according to Todd Spangler of the Detroit Free Press.
"We are not doing our children any favors when we borrow from their future in order to invest in systems and policies that are not yielding better results," she said while presenting the Department of Education's budget proposals.
The news was met with swift rebukes from several lawmakers:
They weren't alone:
Per Spangler, "In the case of the $17.6 million cut to help fund the Special Olympics, a program designed to help children and adults with disabilities, DeVos suggested it is better supported by philanthropy and added, 'We had to make some difficult decisions with this budget.'"
It's unlikely that many of DeVos' proposed cuts will be approved, with the Democrat-controlled House unlikely to sign off on her budget. As Spangler noted, many of DeVos' more extreme proposals were blocked by the House even when it was controlled by a Republican majority.
The Special Olympics was founded in 1968 for athletes with intellectual disabilities, with over 5 million people in over 170 countries competing in the initiative in 2016.
In the organization's mission statement, it notes that it "strives to create a better world by fostering the acceptance and inclusion of all people" using the "the power of sports" to help "people with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths and abilities, skills and success."