By Priscilla Kadima         

Amid the heated battle between the school committee and the AEA over budget cuts, the Students for Action group, composed of members of the AHS student body, has organized a petition designed to voice the opinions of the students.

“Students for Action is a student-organized initiative focused on making…the voice of the students heard,” said Emily Brownholtz, a junior and member of the group.

The Students for Action group sees the conflict between the AEA and the school committee as distracting to the Andover Public School system.

“The petition itself is simply a request, to the AEA and the School Committee, to include the concerns of the student body in the deliberation about changes in the education budget,” Brownholtz clarified.

The petition is currently online, promoted on several different social networking sites, and available on change.org (search for “Students for Action”). To date there are more than 200 signatures, a little fewer than 300 signatures short of the Students For Action group’s goal.

“Our primary goal is 500 [signatures], but we are hoping to end up with a number closer to 1,000,” said Brownholtz.

The organization claims to be unbiased and unaffiliated with either the AEA or the School Committee.

“We are an active and interested third party that represents the students at all Andover Public Schools, and the concerns and needs of these students exclusively,” Brownholtz continued. “We hope to provide improved guidelines and solidify some that are already in place to give the School Committee and the AEA a clearer image of what everyone’s concerns are, not just the teachers’ or the committee members’.”

The Students for Action Group want to do its best to help move the situation forward. “We’re planning on meeting with each side separately to gather more information, so that we can be a part of the solution rather than part of the problem,” Brownholtz said. “We would like to stress that we want to help motivate steps towards a solution.”

“We want to compel [the school committee and the AEA] to devise a…solution that will satisfy all affected parties and simultaneously uphold the high standard of education Andover is known for,” Brownholtz explained.

Marina Renton also contributed to this report.