(CD) — Critics expressed shock and anger Tuesday after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos defended the Trump administration’s proposed budget, which cuts ten percent of her department’s overall funding—including huge cuts to the Special Olympics—while increasing funds private charter school.
Appearing before a House subcommittee on appropriations for the Education Department, DeVos told lawmakers that the proposed budget “focuses on freedom for teachers, freedom for parents, freedom for all students.”
While cutting funding $7 billion for public schools and other programs, DeVos and Trump’s budget calls for $60 million for charter schools—a long-time cause for the education secretary.
“This budget in my view is cruel. It is reckless,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.)
Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.) added in his questioning of DeVos that the administration appears to have no regard for the Americans who will be affected by the $18 million in cuts for the Special Olympics, which serve children and adults with disabilities.
“Do you know how many kids are going to be affected by that cut?” Pocan asked. Unable to extract a straight answer from DeVos, the congressman cut her off as she repeated her refrain, “We had to make some difficult decisions with this budget.”
“It’s 272,000 kids that are affected,” Pocan informed her.
Watch Pocan’s whole exchange with DeVos:
On social media, critics expressed shock and anger at DeVos’s defense of the budget cuts.