The World Around Us, Congrats to Nick Baumgartner, Governor Whitmer’s FY23 Budget Proposal, and Paying Student Teachers

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This Week in Rural Insights

On Wednesday we will feature an article by former NMU Trustee Jim Haveman about the Healthy Michigan Plan. Jim also served as the Director of Michigan Department of Community Health. He has decades of experience in the health care, community health and mental health areas. You will find this article very interesting. 

This week we will also feature an article about women-owned businesses in Dickinson County by Elsa Pontbriand. More information that you will find useful, educational and interesting.

Check out both of these articles later this week.

The World Around Us

A Stunning Stat: Over 1 million men surged into the labor force last month (taking a job or looking for one)–compared to 39,000 women. Axios News writes that this matters because “it appears to be about child care. Issues with schools and daycare centers kept women, who are typically primary caregivers to children, out of the workforce throughout the pandemic–and it’s still happening.” (Emily Peck, Axios).

Rural Insights has published several reports and data about the seriousness of the child care availability and affordability in the Upper Peninsula. From one end of the Upper Peninsula to the other we have heard reports that if you can find child care for your child it often is more costly than your monthly rent or mortgage payment. The Upper Peninsula unfortunately is following national trends on child care. 

Congrats to Olympic Gold Medal Winner from Upper Peninsula’s Iron River

Snowboarder Nick Baumgartner won a gold medal this past week at the Olympic Games in China. He grew up in Iron River and played football at Northern Michigan University. A great accomplishment by him.

All across the UP folks are proud and excited by the favorite son of Iron River and alumnus of NMU–representing America at the Winter Olympics. 

Governor Whitmer Releases FY23 Executive Budget Proposals

  • A 45% increase in psychiatric beds for children–the highest level in 10 years. Michigan only has one psychiatric hospital for children–The Hawthorn Center located in Northville. 
  • National Guard service members will be allowed to transfer current available tuition benefits to their children or spouses.
  • Various tax cuts and rebates, including ending the tax on retirement benefits that former Governor Snyder imposed.
  • Retention bonuses for teachers and school staff start at $2,000 for staff who come back to their school, another $2,000 for the following year, a $3,000 bonus for the third year and $4,000 for the fourth year.
  • Record increases for K-12 education.
  • A 5% increase for Higher education that is one-time funding, on top of a 5% ongoing increase. Requires tuition restraint.

These are just a few of the proposals that now go to the legislature for debate, amendment and final passage. You can find the executive budget summary at The legislature will have lots of their own proposals to debate and possibly include in the FY23 final budget for Michigan.

Call for Paying K-12 Student Teachers

David Hecker, a former president of the American Federation of Teachers–Michigan, has proposed in an op-ed in The Michigan Advance (2.8.22) to pay student teachers for their work in Michigan’s schools.

He writes that “By changing this outdated practice (of not paying them), we begin to address the teacher shortage and set new teachers and their students up for success.”

I bet this proposal gets some attention in the policy salons in Lansing and around the state.

Quotes That Make Us Go Hmmm

“The world exists only in the merit of the person who restrains himself or herself at the time of an argument.” The Talmud, Chullin 89a.

“The only reason people do not know much is because they do not care to know. They are incurious. Incuriosity is the oddest, and most foolish failing there is.” Stephan Fry.

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David Haynes

David Haynes has served as a professor of public administration and public policy. He previously has served as President of Northern Michigan University. David has been involved in the public administration and political science field for over 45 years.


  1. Sandi Spieles, Hessel, MI on February 14, 2022 at 9:26 am

    Substitute teacher pay at one UP school is $100 per day gross even for “long term” subs who are responsible for lesson plans, testing and grading – no benefits, no job security, etc. I agree that we need to grow the teacher numbers, but subs are experienced and many are well educated – lacking only certification which is expensive to attain. Maybe we should not ignore this pool of possibilities.

  2. Sandi Spieles on February 14, 2022 at 10:33 am

    Hope my full comment made it thru – iPad with a mind of it’s own!

  3. Tim Tingstad on February 14, 2022 at 1:54 pm

    Wow! I got $100/day for long term subbing in Minnesota– in 1980. Can’t believe it’s this low 42 yrs later.

  4. John on February 17, 2022 at 7:31 am

    Maybe rather than paying student teachers (the pay probably wouldn’t amount to much), the State should consider helping individuals with, or forgiving a portion of the student loans individuals assume when pursuing their degree? Similar to when teachers, or medical professionals take a job in an underserved area. Just a thought.

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