Saving Special Olympics: Trump’s surprising choice to support necessary funds

By Jayda Ragas

People have been talking about President Trump’s recent decision to not cut funds for special education, and it is being celebrated as one of his few good choices since he has been in office.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos supported her department’s proposal to cut special education funding, which includes Special Olympics, but Trump overrode this proposal by deciding to fund Special Olympics after significant backlash from the public. The education department’s proposal suggested an almost $18 million cut from Special Olympics, according to CNN, which consists of grant money given to the non-profit organization by the government. While the Special Olympics does also receive money from private donations, government funding is still important for keeping the organization going.

Special Olympics is extremely important to me. My younger sister has Down syndrome, and for many years has been competing in the Special Olympics tournaments. I have been to her swim meets, and in recent years her track meets, where she and other people like her get the chance to run, long jump and throw shot put and javelin without being at a major disadvantage. I can see how much this organization helps people with physical and mental disabilities.

Cutting funds to this program, along with other special education programs, would be harmful to the students trying to keep up with the rest of the people around them. Everyone should get the same opportunities, regardless of any disability like Down syndrome. I want my sister to have an equal chance to do what everyone else is doing; I do not want her to feel like she is not able to participate in class or sports because of her physical and intellectual differences. Seeing my sister cross the finish line with a smile on her face next to all her friends fills my heart with joy, and I know that without Special Olympics it would be immensely difficult for her to be able to do that. So no matter what his reasoning was for continuing to fund it, I am happy with Trump’s decision, and I hope it continues to be governmentally funded because it is certainly necessary.