Local Organization Responds to Proposed Special Olympics Budget Cuts

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A proposal on capitol hill stirring up conversation and backlash after the Secretary of Education tried to cut the budget for Special Olympics.

We had to make some difficult decisions with this budget, said Secretary Betsy DeVos

On Tuesday, DeVos proposed changes to the education budget for the 2020 fiscal year, cutting almost $18 million dollars from Special Olympics.

President Donald Trump quickly responded said wasn’t happening. 

I’ve been to the Special Olympics. I think it’s incredible. And I just authorized funding. I have overridden my people. We’re funding the Special Olympics, said President Trump. 

The organization is strong here in Bay County and when the director, Barbara Churchwell, heard of the proposal, only the word ‘disappointment’ came to her mind. 

She says the Special Olympics organization offers more than just a chance to compete.

They also do healthy athletes. Which is eyes, ears, feet, and teeth. They go through clinicians free of charge, said Churchwell

One parent says the organization also serves more than just the athletes. 

It also gives a place for parents to come together that have a commonality, so we’re able to talk and exchange resources and that kind of thing so it’s just as important for the parents as it is for the athletes, said Parent/ Coach Renee Warren.

Warren’s daughter has been a part of Special Olympics for 12 years now. She says she’s not concerned about the proposed budget cuts.

It’s not going to slow us down. May drop our numbers temporarily but Bay County Special Olympics is here to stay. Bottom line. Bay County Special Olympics is here to stay because we have a community that does support. Even when they’re going through a tough time, they still come out, said Warren.

If you would like to volunteer or donate to the local organization, click here.

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