Senate Bill 1124—An Inequitable Alternative to SB 1
June 30, 2017
This report analyzes some of the major differences between SB1, the "Evidence-Based Funding for Student Success Act" that passed both chambers of the General Assembly; and SB1124, an alternative education funding reform bill sponsored by Senator Jason Barickman.
It finds that SB1 does not favor any school district-it does not create any special "bailout" of CPS-and instead creates a proportional, equitable distribution of new state funding for K-12 education.
The report also raises concerns about SB1124. Specifically, the supporters of SB1124 had ISBE model the impact of running $672.3 million in K-12 education funding through the new formula that bill establishes. However, HB4069-a companion bill filed to cover the cost of paying for new school funding formula distributions under SB 1124-only appropriates $288.4 million over FY2017 education funding levels for this purpose. This means there is no revenue source to support over half-$383.9 million or 57 percent-of the distribution ISBE modeled for SB1124.
In addition, SB1124 reduces funding for CPS. The reduction in education funding for the classroom CPS would realize under SB1124 as contemplated by its sponsors and the Governor's office is hard to justify from an equity standpoint. That's because as it stands today, CPS has some $2.1 billion less in current funding than what both SB 1 and SB 1124 indicate would be adequate to meet the educational needs of the children it serves-85 percent of whom are low income and 90 percent of whom are minorities. By actually reducing the amount of existing funding CPS has to educate children, SB1124 would move CPS further away from adequacy than it is under current law.