All Press Items

CTBA experts are available to provide insight, analysis, and data to the press on a wide range of public policy issues. In addition, CTBA disseminates new research and timely updates on policy developments to the media.

What We Do

  • Policy analysis and advocacy
  • Empirical research
  • Advice and technical assistance
  • Strategic leadership in coalitions
  • Legislative testimony
  • Public education
April 22, 2015State Journal-Register

In what's been dubbed the "Good Friday Massacre," Rauner's administration proposed trimming an additional $26 million from the current budget, in part by cutting services for individuals with autism and burial funds for the indigent. 

One has to ask "Why

Read Original Article

April 21, 2015Pioneer Press

Gov. Bruce Rauner has proposed cutting the amount of state income tax shared with local governments by half. That's about a $600,000 reduction for Northlake. Since the state and city run on different budget years — the state's fiscal year starts July 1 and the city of Northlake's on January 1 —

Read Original Article

Students using vouchers to attend private schools have no academic edge over their public school peers, according to a report released Thursday by the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability.

“There’s a substantial amount of evidence about what does and doesn’t work to enhance student achievement,” said Ralph Martire, the executive director of CTBA, a Chicago-based think tank. “Indiana’s approach runs contrary to what those best practices indicate you should do.”

Indiana’s school choice legislation is the most comprehensive in the nation, Martire said. It includes a voucher program, tax deductions and tax credits for parents who send their children to private schools, according to the report.

The report is a meta-analysis that looks at the results from studies of voucher programs in Milwaukee, Cleveland and Washington, D.C., as well as federal research on the effectiveness of charter and private schools. None of the studies that the authors analyzed found any evidence that students who received vouchers outperformed students who went to public schools, the report said.

Read Original Article

April 17, 2015StateImpact Indiana

New research is adding fuel to one of the most heated debates on Indiana’s modern education scene. A new study released Thursday suggests no measurable difference between students using school vouchers and their peers studying in public schools.

Read Original Article

April 16, 201513

INDIANAPOLIS - A new study calls Indiana's school voucher program into question.

The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability report says there's no reason to subsidize Indiana School vouchers with public tax dollars. The group, which identifies itself as "a bipartisan, nonprofit research, and advocacy think tank," looked at school voucher programs in other states that have been operating for decades. The results found students using vouchers to attend private schools do no better than those in public schools.

The study also concluded that "at-risk students" who live in poverty, are learning English, or have special needs and attend public schools out-perform those who attend charter or religious private schools.

"The bottom line is even staunch supporters of vouchers have come to the realization that vouchers in and of themselves do not help students achieve to higher levels academically," said Ralph M. Martire with the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability.

April 16, 2015RTV6 ABC TheIndyChannel

INDIANAPOLIS -- A new study released at the Statehouse Thursday claims school vouchers aren't beneficial to Indiana taxpayers and students. More than 30,000 Indiana students are enrolled in the School Choice voucher program that makes it possible for thousands of kids to attend private and charter schools.

"The study originated because Illinois has a one school-choice option which is an individual tax credit. As in other states, Illinois legislators received requests to consider expanding the use of school vouchers. Because Indiana is adjacent to a state with a large voucher program, Indiana is among several voucher programs studied by an independent firm," Becker said. 

According to the report released by the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, the study found "no compelling reason to subsidize Indiana school vouchers with public taxpayer dollars."

Read Original Article

April 16, 2015


April 12, 2015Daily Herald

By Ralph Martire 
Guest columnist

Whether it's the Beltway or Springfield, it seems increasingly difficult for elected officials to cross party lines and reach consensus on issues that really matter -- with one notable exception. Nearly everybody, liberal, conservative, or somewhere in between, supports holding public schools "accountable" for educating students. Unfortunately, broad consensus hasn't resulted in sound policy. Indeed, the accountability systems at both the federal and state levels are fundamentally flawed.

By now, most people are familiar with the largely discredited, high-stakes testing approach to accountability adopted under the federal "No Child Left Behind" legislation. Ostensibly to ensure all children -- irrespective of race, ethnicity or income level -- are learning, NCLB requires every school district in each state to demonstrate "adequate yearly progress" in student achievement on standardized tests. The glitch is, NCLB compares the performance of children currently in a specific grade to the performance of different students who were in that grade during the preceding year.

Read Original Article

April 8, 2015Bloomberg Politics

A thankful Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel presented himself to bleary-eyed South Side commuters today, embodying the humble, sweater-wearing politician who told voters in television ads that sometimes he rubs people the wrong way.

Tough Choices

“We have a lot of work to go, and a lot of work to do going forward,” Emanuel told reporters at an early childhood learning center on the West Side. “But I do believe doing it together, we are going to get where we need to go as one, as a city, a lot faster.”

Softer Side

Even if voters like the mayor’s softer presentation, they may not appreciate his choices in the new term. The financial crisis means that Emanuel will have to work to raise taxes and cut spending, said Ralph Martire, executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, a Chicago-based research group that tracks government spending.

“Whatever patience the re-elected mayor has will be severely tried by the fiscal challenges confronting both the city and the Chicago public-school system,” Martire said. “People, meaning voters and taxpayers, need to hear what they need to hear, not what they want to hear.”

Read Original Article

April 2, 2015Chicago Tribune

Low-income immigrants residents hope Rauner's cuts won't block their path to citizenship

Read Original Article