Special Olympics Survives Threats From State and Federal Levels

Abbey Black, News and Opinion editor

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People who have been impacted by the Special Olympics were devastated when news broke that the Trump Administration would be slashing the programs federal funding.

For those unfamiliar with the charity, the Special Olympics allows kids and young adults with disabilities to compete in a variety of sports competitions. As 3 of my cousins participate in the Special Olympics, I have seen firsthand the difference it can make in the lives of those who cannot partake in “normal” sporting events in their communities.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos proposed a $17.6 million cut to the program as a response to Trump’s orders to remove government funds from unnecessary places. After facing much criticism, the President announced that there would be no cuts made to the Special Olympic funds and that the program would continue to see the money it has in past years.

This was a smart decision by the President. It would have been sad and wrong to propose damaging cuts to such a positive charity designed to better the lives of individuals (and their families) with disabilities.

Things were not looking promising for the Special Olympics in terms of the state government, either. The program was initially set to lose a quarter of its funding: $50,000 of the $200,000 it received last year. Like Trump, however, Governor Cuomo restored the funds in the budget for the Special Olympics.

This was sadly turned into a political issue. People on the right disapproved of Cuomo’s actions while those on the left criticized President Trump. Realistically, this should not have become such a large issue. In the end both the federal and state government provided full funding for the Special Olympics, which is a win for America regardless of one’s political opinions.

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