An extreme coupon plan

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Retired educator Bruce Lear sounds the alarm about a policy some Republican state lawmakers and conservative advocacy organizations want to pursue this year. -promoted by desmoinesdem There is little doubt, coupons have helped build America consumerism. For some, if there isn’t a coupon, there isn’t a bargain. There is nothing wrong with that approach to shopping. In fact, it has become a hobby for some and even spawned reality TV shows. It’s a choice, and the shopper’s choice alone. It’s really a contract between the shopper and the store. Now comes the Republican Party with their own coupon offering, but this one has big catch. The coupon is not free in the newspaper or on the internet. It’s paid for by tax dollars. It’s a voucher plan the Republican Party has labeled as an Education Savings Accounts. But don’t be fooled, they can call it anything they like, it’s still a coupon for private tuition paid for by Iowa taxpayers. Let’s be clear. There is nothing inherently wrong with private schools. Many provide a quality education. It’s an option, and many parents choose that option for good reason. There is, however, something inherently wrong with publicly elected officials choosing to use public funds on private entities with no accountability for the use of those dollars. The difference between the shopper who uses a coupon to get a discount at a store and a voucher plan is the shopper uses his/her own money. In a voucher scheme, the private school wants the government to pay for the coupon so the consumer can get a discount all in the name of more choice creating more quality. The mantra of private school advocates has always been, “We need competition so both the public school and the private school improve.” After all, competition

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