Betsy DeVos Hits Back At Critics Over Proposed $18M Special Olympics Funding Cut

REUTERS/Leah Millis

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Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is defending proposed budget cuts to the department, after attacks from liberal pundits and politicians.

DeVos is proposing to cut $18 million in funding to the Special Olympics in her latest budget proposal, which she defended in a statement today. The Special Olympics is not a government program, but a nonprofit that raises roughly $100 million every year separate from government funding. (RELATED: Betsy DeVos Sets Her Sights On College Admissions Scandal)

“It is unacceptable, shameful and counterproductive that the media and some members of Congress have spun up falsehoods and fully misrepresented the facts,” DeVos said in the statement. “We are focused every day on raising expectations and improving outcomes for infants and toddlers, children and youth with disabilities, and are committed to confronting and addressing anything that stands in the way of their success.”

At a congressional hearing Monday, DeVos was harangued by Democratic Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan, who repeatedly interrupted her as she attempted to explain her position. (RELATED: Betsy DeVos Proposes Title IX Rules, Focuses on Clear Definition Of Sexual Harassment And Due Process Rights)

DeVos donated part of her salary to the Special Olympics last year, and has given to the organization in the past. However, with the country roughly $22 trillion in debt, DeVos explained that difficult budgetary decisions must be made.

“There are dozens of worthy nonprofits that support students and adults with disabilities that don’t get a dime of federal grant money,” she said. “But given our current budget realities, the federal government cannot fund every worthy program, particularly ones that enjoy robust support from private donations.”

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