The U.S. Department of Education has proposed the elimination of funding for Special Olympics in the 2020 federal budget.
Special Olympics Southern California relies on federal funding to support our Schools Partnership Program, which brings together students with and without intellectual disabilities through sports, whole-school engagement and inclusive leadership. These programs are critical to building respect and friendships among students of different abilities and to empowering students in special education to realize their potential – on the field, in the classroom, and in their future lives.
The proposed cuts would affect more than 28,000 students in Southern California alone that benefit from Special Olympics. In addition, the budget cuts would include the elimination of millions of dollars in funding from autism and related disability programs.
Each year, athlete ambassadors and SOSC staff visit Washington D.C. to meet with congressional representatives and to advocate for the continuation of support for Special Olympics in the federal budget. Despite the fact that we had a successful trip last month, and that we remain optimistic that congressional leaders from across the country will work to keep Special Olympics funded through the U.S. Department of Education, we are still concerned that the US Department of Education proposes eliminating us from the federal budget.
In our call to action, we are asking you to show your support for Special Olympics and reinforce the impacts that SOSC has had on your life, and on those around you. Contact your representative and the Department of Education to urge them to include Special Olympics funding in the 2020 federal budget.
Find & Contact a Representative
Department of Education: https://www2.ed.gov/about/contacts/gen/index.html?exp=3
What to Say
- Special Olympics in schools has been statistically proven to increase inclusion & improve whole school communities for millions of young people with & without intellectual disabilities
- Children with disabilities are two to three times more likely to be bullied than their peers without disabilities.
- In 2017, 5,000 schools and 3.6 million young people participated in inclusive school activities in the United States.
- Almost 80% of students who got to know a student with a disability through Special Olympics considered this person to be a friend.
- 92% of teachers/school staff observe increased opportunities for students with and without disabilities to work together through Special Olympics.
*Provided by Special Olympics based on national statistics