DeVos criticized over plan to cut Special Olympics funding

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos listens during an Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs meeting at the State Dining Room of the White House March 18, 2019. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is facing sharp pushback over a proposal to cut federal funding to the Special Olympics.

Celebrities, politicians and activists have taken to social media to rebuke DeVos for her plan to cut funding for the group as part of $7 billion in reductions in 2020.

The organization received $17.6 million from the Education Department this year, but DeVos says it should be supported through philanthropy.

House Democrats grilled DeVos in a budget hearing Tuesday, with Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., calling the cut “appalling.”

Others calling on DeVos to rethink the decision include former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, and Julie Foudy, former captain of the U.S. women’s soccer team.

A department spokeswoman says DeVos supports the organization and has donated to it in the past.

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