Bonnie O’Connell traveled through ice and traffic in early February to attend maaps’ Annual State House Briefing at the State House. O’Connell, the mom of Shannon, an 18-year old student at Cardinal Cushing Centers, wanted to be sure to thank legislators for their continued support of maaps member schools and highlighted the progress that Shannon is now making because of it.
“We now have hope for a potential I never realized was possible,” O’Connell told a packed room of 50 lawmakers and staff yesterday morning. “Cardinal Cushing has helped make Shannon realize that hope, her true potential.”
Mrs. O’Connell joined Gail Biancucci, the mom of Brendan, a student at Melmark New England, after a heartwarming welcome and introductions by House Speaker Pro Tempore Patricia Haddad at maaps’ Annual Legislative & Budget Briefing on Beacon Hill.
This year’s maaps State House Briefing brought a bipartisan group of 20 legislators and 30 legislative staff members to the House Members Lounge at the State House on the morning of Wednesday, February 8th. The event, which despite the weather matched our turnout for the past two years, was part of the Association’s #OurSchoolsCount campaign to fight for fair special education funding in the Fiscal Year 2018 state budget.
The Association has launched its grassroots maaps Action Network campaign to continue our efforts to overturn the proposed Chapter 766 (C766) school tuition rate freeze, included in the Governor’s House 1 budget.
In addition to Mrs. O’Connell, Mrs. Biancucci and a maaps C766 school budget presentation given by maaps Executive Director Jim Major, students from various maaps member schools drew the attention of all of those in attendance as they talked about the successes and impacts that C766 schools have had on their life and education and spoke personally about the critical importance of overturning the Governor’s proposed C766 rate freeze.
Speakers also included students and recent graduates from the RCS Learning Center in Natick, Walker’s Beacon High School in Watertown, Doctor Franklin Perkins School in Lancaster, and JRI’s Walden Street School in Concord.