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Special Olympics chairman fires back at DeVos over proposed cuts

Greg Nash

The chairman of the Special Olympics is firing back at Education Secretary Betsy DeVos after she cut all federal funding for the Special Olympics in her department’s proposed budget for fiscal 2020.

“The federal government, if it believes in full inclusion — and it does, our Constitution, our Declaration and our laws tell us we do — and if the federal government has a role to support that, it ought to be investing in kids with special needs,” Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver said on MSNBC Wednesday.

{mosads}“Give these young people the chance to shine, to tell their stories, as you’ve heard. The country is starving for this.”

DeVos defended her proposed cuts to the program’s funding Tuesday before a House subcommittee, saying she had to make “some difficult decisions” and noting that various philanthropic efforts also support the Special Olympics.

“While the philanthropic traditions we have of volunteerism and private support are important, we’re now in a new ballgame of trying to educate young people about the importance of an inclusive mindset to the future of the country,” Shriver said in response.

“Our schools are hungry for a different message. Our young people believe that everybody counts. They have not lost that hope and dream. The Special Olympics movement today is giving them a chance to live it out.”

Democratic lawmakers have also slammed the proposed cuts.

“We are living under an administration with no humanity,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), one of several Democrats running for president, tweeted.

Tags Betsy DeVos Kirsten Gillibrand
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