Education Secretary Betsy DeVos struggled before a congressional subcommittee on Tuesday to defend at least $7 billion in proposed cuts to education programs, including eliminating all $18 million in federal funding for the Special Olympics.
Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan pushed DeVos on her proposed cuts to the Special Olympics and other special education programs during her testimony before a House Appropriations subcommittee.
When Pocan asked whether she knew how many children would be affected by the elimination of federal funding to the Special Olympics, DeVos said she did not know.
“I’ll answer it for you, that’s OK, no problem,” Pocan said. “It’s 272,000 kids that are affected.”
DeVos responded, “I think that the Special Olympics is an awesome organization, one that is well supported by the philanthropic sector as well.”
Pocan at that point interrupted the education secretary to point out that the proposed budget includes a 26 percent reduction to state grants for special education and millions of dollars in cuts to programs for students who are blind.
After referring to his own nephews with autism, Pocan asked DeVos, “What is it that we have a problem with, with children who are in special education?”
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SOURCE: NBC News, Doha Madani