Special Olympics Alaska cheers Trump nix of funding cut
As President Trump overrides his education secretary on a proposed cut of federal Special Olympics funding, Alaska officials are pleased by the decision.
Service High School hands out personalized hockey jerseys every winter during its annual "Superheroes Day" event. The jerseys are later raffled off to raise money, as part of Alaska's Unified Champion Schools program to help special needs students around the state.
It costs about $200,000 a year to keep the programs operating. The head of Special Olympics Alaska says one-fourth of the Unified Champions Schools program's $200,000 budget comes from the federal government.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had fought for the cut, but Trump told reporters in Michigan that "I have overridden my people."
The decision means Special Olympics Alaska does not have to worry about coming up with an extra $50,000 for the program.
"It's exciting, but, it's really the bigger picture of it, in terms of people recognizing the importance of people with intellectual disabilities in our communities, and how inclusion is so important, and one of the avenues that it's happening through is sports and Special Olympics," said Nicolle Egan, Special Olympics Alaska's president and CEO. "So it's very exciting for the program, but also for Americans."
The Trump Administration's education budget plan previously called for the elimination of $17.6 million in funding for Special Olympics, as a way to cut $7 billion from next year's budget.
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