HomeNewsThird-grader enlists in budget battle

Third-grader enlists in budget battle

Melissa Galm chats with diners at Chickie’s & Pete’s on Roosevelt Boulevard. Galm, a recent Holy Family grad, did an academic study for a finance class with nine of her co-workers. They found that, on average, the women made more money in tips as blon

As far as 8-year-old Amanda Toska is concerned, if the school district wants to cut back on something, it should be homework, not staff.

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“Just because the government doesn’t have enough money, doesn’t mean they should cancel all the stuff,” the Anne Frank Elementary third-grader said Tuesday. “Kids need a bigger horizon.”

Amanda became worried about school layoffs after she saw some teachers wearing “Save Our Schools” placards in her school’s parking lot. The Bustleton youngster started a petition drive to try to halt job cuts.

The enthusiastic petitioner collected signatures from other kids, parents and neighbors, stopping to explain the district’s budget woes to anyone who asked.

“She even brought [the petition] to her cousin’s graduation,” her mom, Felicia, said.

In a couple of weeks, Amanda had 200 signatures on her “Petition to stop the school budget cuts,” which she turned in to Anne Frank’s principal, Mickey Komins.

Komins said he has shown Amanda’s petition to his supervisor and intends to show it to politicians, too.

Amanda said she had plenty of help from her friends, who also aided in the creation of a “Save the Schools” poster. “They deserve a lot of credit,” she said of her friends.

Amanda said she wanted to interest more pupils in the district’s fiscal problems, so she drew a comic strip depicting her and her classmates fighting off a monstrous budget cut figure that “is taking away learning and just ate the gym teacher!”

On June 7, Schools Superintendent William Hite announced more than 3,700 district employees will be let go July 1 unless the district receives an infusion of money. About 20 of those layoffs would be at Anne Frank. ••

Small wonder: Amanda Toska, an 8-year-old Anne Frank Elementary School pupil, heard about impending layoffs from a teacher some weeks ago and immediately started a petition against them. MARIA POUCHNIKOVA / TIMES PHOTOS

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