Critics expressed shock and anger Tuesday after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos defended the Trump administration's proposed budget, which cuts ten percent of her department's overall funding—including huge cuts to the Special Olympics—while increasing funds private charter school.
Appearing before a House subcommittee on appropriations for the Education Department, DeVos told lawmakers that the proposed budget "focuses on freedom for teachers, freedom for parents, freedom for all students."
While cutting funding $7 billion for public schools and other programs, DeVos and Trump's budget calls for $60 million for charter schools—a long-time cause for the education secretary.
"This budget in my view is cruel. It is reckless," said Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.)
Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.) added in his questioning of DeVos that the administration appears to have no regard for the Americans who will be affected by the $18 million in cuts for the Special Olympics, which serve children and adults with disabilities.
"Do you know how many kids are going to be affected by that cut?" Pocan asked. Unable to extract a straight answer from DeVos, the congressman cut her off as she repeated her refrain, "We had to make some difficult decisions with this budget."
"It's 272,000 kids that are affected," Pocan informed her.
Watch Pocan's whole exchange with DeVos:
In @BetsyDeVosED’s budget, there are major cuts to programs like the Special Olympics. Sec. DeVos didn’t know the number of kids who would be hurt by that cut, so I made sure she now knows that 272,000 kids are seeing their support taken away. pic.twitter.com/6ZiOfDU4Ou
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— Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) March 26, 2019
On social media, critics expressed shock and anger at DeVos's defense of the budget cuts.
What kind of soulless monster does something like this? https://t.co/cG2Z48JOXi
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) March 26, 2019
Just when you thought the Trump admin couldn’t possibly stoop any lower Betsy DeVos and Co. cut all funding for the Special Olympics.
There. Is. No. Bottom.
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) March 26, 2019
It’s not just cutting funding for the Special Olympics. Please take the time to watch this. It’s infuriating, but people need to see what Betsy DeVos is doing. Well done to @repmarkpocan for publicly exposing these cuts and the effects they will have.pic.twitter.com/WchDexhpAa
— Greg Hogben (@MyDaughtersArmy) March 26, 2019
It's a real head whipper to see DeVos cutting funding to the Special Olympics on the day Republicans attacked the ACA and then seeing there is a state of emergency over a measles outbreak. It's almost like these evil creeps are stupid too.
— Maureen Johnson (@maureenjohnson) March 26, 2019