APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) — Local public school advocates are rallying in Appleton to protest the State’s latest budget proposal on education.

Fox Cities advocates for public education want their voices heard when it comes to critical education dollars that were cut from Governor Tony Evers’ proposed budget by the Joint Finance Committee.

“What they are offering does not keep up with inflation. We are still not funding the gaps that have been created over the past eight years, said Anna Muenster, a public education advocate.

Those gaps include a special education reimbursement that currently sits around 25% of incurred costs. The Governor’s budget proposed raising that level to 60% over the next two years but the Joint Finance Committee raised it to only 30%.

Senator Roger Roth feels it’s a matter of perspective, where the advocacy groups see “cuts”, he sees investment;

“Five hundred million, this is a record investment that we are going to have in K12 schools. If you look at what it does for the Fox Valley, it will be an additional $5 million for Neenah. This really is an education budget that even two years ago Governor Evers, when he was State Superintendent said this is a kid-friendly budget. That’s what we’ve put together here, this is a great win for schools in the Fox Valley.”

But for former educators, that investment simply isn’t enough, and they will continue to fight for more funds;

The battle is big – it continues, I hope to continue to support all of my colleagues in special education and I hope that our Legislators do the same.

Patti Clark-Stojke, Retired Special Education Teacher

An even bigger march of public school advocates is taking place Saturday. The march to Madison begins at Palmyra, a school district considering dissolving over lack of funding, and it will end Tuesday at the State Capitol.