Special education needs to be a budget priority

Friday, July 11, 2014

As Gov. Deval Patrick puts the finishing touches on the state budget, Andrew Robbins stands out as a shining example of why we need to continue supporting students with special needs and the highly-skilled teachers and schools who educate them.

Andrew began attending the Cardinal Cushing Centers a year ago. Prior to this, he had been hospitalized for physical aggression and suicidal ideation and spent time at home because the public school could not accommodate his needs. Andrew was also on the verge of health complications due to being overweight.

When he enrolled at the Hanover-based Cardinal Cushing Centers, a state- approved Chapter 766 school for special education, Andrew got the structure, vocational training, and social opportunities he needed. This month, he will transition into a full-time vocational program to learn skills to prepare him for a future job. He recently lost 40 pounds and is active in a variety of sports on campus. Andrew thrives with his fellow residents, engaging socially and has formed true friendships. He was even recently voted junior prom king.

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