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Will Special Education and Special Olympics Funding be Cut?

Betsy DeVos, the current U.S. Education Secretary, has proposed to cut 10% of the Special Olympics funding and 26% of special education funding (Mervosh, 2019).

Where else would this money be going?

Devos’s 2020 plan is to reduce class size, cut technology funding for schools, fund charter schools, and create tax credit, which is called Education Freedom Scholarships. This tax credit will act as an incentive for businesses and individuals to donate to private school scholarships. They would receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit, essentially (Strieb, 2019). The money will also be going towards the increased military spending, as proposed by Donald Trump. 

Why do we have to cut Special Olympics funding? 

DeVos defended that the Special Olympics is a nonprofit organization. Therefor, it is not a federal organization (Reints, 2019).

What about the special education funding?

According to DeVos, the Individuals with Disabilities Act will not be affected by the budget cuts. However, it is still unclear where the 26% special education deduction will be deducted from (Reints, 2019). 

Will this be approved by Congress?

Trump’s previous reduction of education funds have been rejected by Congress, so it is unlikely that this budget cut would be approved (Mervosh, 2019). 

Is it actually logical to cut special education and Special Olympics funding?

The Special Olympics program is not a federal program, so technically it is possible for the federal government to stop funding them. However, because it is an important nonprofit organization implemented throughout public schools, it would be logical for the federal goverment to continue funding it. Politics aside, the Special Olympics provides opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities. This program is to promote inclusivitiy, and should be supported.

It is unclear where the special education field is being cut from. This area of education alone has had difficulty gaining momentum. If anything, this field especially should not receive budget cuts. Bridging the gap between individuals with intellectual disabilities and those without is critical to society. It is totally illogical to cut this budget.

The U.S. education system has always needed improvement. However, when people that do not come from the education sector make decisions for the education system, these decisions become more idealistic rather than realistic. It is illogical to demand U.S. schools to be “better” than other countries when public education funds are taken away. When teachers have to change their classrooms so that their students pass standardized tests, the students’ education is at risk. When teachers’ salaries are compromised, that job field is no longer attractive. It is a cycle that does not seem like it will ever change. The government wants good teachers and good schools, so their go-to answer is standardized testing. When the standardized testing is damaging students’ actual education and teacher salaries, the U.S. as a whole falls behind. But sure, cut more funding and have high, unrealistic expectations. Eventually children grow up, and they will fall right back into a cycle created by their predecessors.

It is logical for the U.S. Education Department to have a new incentive program for donors to private education scholarships because the federal government no longer has to answer to parents’ complaints about not being able to afford private school. But why do parents not want their children to go to public school? Is everyone doing it for religious purposes? No. Public schools tend to be more “unsafe” than private schools. Why are public schools like this? Perhaps it would be logical to just fund the public schools and set up a plan from people who are in the education sphere. 

It is illogical to cut special education and Special Olympics funding. There will be actual people affected by these proposed budget cuts. 


Mervosh, S. (2019, March 27). Betsy DeVos Wants to Cut Special Olympics Funding. Here’s Why It Probably Won’t Happen. Retrieved March 27, 2019, from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/27/us/politics/betsy-devos-special-olymp…

Reints, R. (2019, March 27). Betsy DeVos Defends Department’s Trump Administration’s Elimination of Special Olympics Funding. Retrieved March 27, 2019 from http://fortune.com/2019/03/27/devos-special-olympics-defense/

Strieb, M. (2019, March 26). Betsy DeVos Wants to Eliminate Federal Funding for the Special Olympics. Retreived March 27, 2019 from http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/03/betsy-devos-wants-to-cut-funding-…

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