Ending Special Olympics Funding Will Impact Texas

Barbara Schwarz
March 28, 2019 - 7:35 am
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos

Credit: Jasper Colt-USA TODAY NETWORK

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There's fallout after the Department of Education moved to stop funding to the Special Olympics. 

Education secretary Betsy DeVos says while she "loves" the Special Olympics, "the government can't fund every worthy program."

The government had been giving the program nearly $18 million a year.

Tim Martin, CEO and president of the Special Olympics Texas says his group had received $300,000 annually from the federal government, money they use to start school based programs in poorer communities.  "We're in such high demand in the state of Texas.  We're on over 200 campuses currently and we have over 700 that have requested us to come and start the program on their campus." 

The money is used to train teachers and start a curriculum as part of the Unified Champion School Programs.

He says they focus on sustainability after the programs start.  "After two years, we don't use government dollars to move forward. That is unlike almost every other program you hear of. We really build it into the schools.  He says the program offers their athletes a "network where they can be self sustaining and have a meaningful life in such a great way, because they have friends that are outside the norm of what is usual in the disabilities community.  It is truly about including them into their schools."