Union Approval Rating, College Tuition Assistance, Rural K12 Funding, and Michigan Constitutional Amendments on the Ballot



This Week in Rural Insights

On Wednesday we will be publishing Dr. Russell Magnaghi’s latest piece, which gives a fascinating overview of how the Jesuits explored the Upper Peninsula area in the 17th and 18th centuries and their great contributions to expanding the knowledge of the region’s environment and people. Don’t miss this fascinating article!

From the World Around Us

  • Union approval is at its highest in 57 years. 74% of Americans approve of labor unions. The highest rating since 1965. Approval is 89% for Ds and 56% for Rs. (Gallop Polling).

Attention Upper Peninsula High School Students and Others Planning on Going to College–An Option to Avoid High Student Loans

Student loans and student loan forgiveness have been in the news often in recent months. We have been examining some options for people who want to avoid the accumulation of student debt and the high cost of tuition.

If you are thinking about serving your nation by serving in the military, here is some good news for you about paying for your college degree in the future. These are just a few highlights and you should research for more detail.  

Active Duty:

If you are on active duty, the Department of Defense will pay qualifying active duty members $250/credit hour for up to 16 credit hours/calendar year.

Veterans of Active-Duty Service:

Post-9/11 GI Bill provides any veteran who serves on active duty for at least 36 months after 9/11/2001 provides:

100% of tuition and fees. The benefit is for 36 months and with a few exceptions does not have a use expiration date.

A monthly housing allowance based on the DoD zip code rate of the school (as of 8/12 this is about $1,189/month for each full month while enrolled full time in the 49855 zip code).

$1000/school year for books and supplies.

That is a partial list of the benefits if you enlist in the military. You can get more detail online and by talking to recruiters.

We will provide information in coming weeks about benefits for those in the Reserves and/or the National Guard.

There are other options in addition to enlisting in the military. We will be checking those out and posting our results here.

A special thank you to Mike Rutledge, Coordinator of Student Veteran Services at NMU for helping us gather the above information.

Rural K-12 School District

Almost all rural schools are pleading for more funding for broadband services and for busing increased funding from the state. (Bridge, 9.20.22). They report that rural schools spend 5.0% on transportation of students versus 2.7% in cities.

“There are 8 students per square mile in the average rural district compared with 137 per square mile in non-rural districts.” These rural districts “spend on average $200 more per student than non rural schools, with the highest transportation spending averaging $2,170 per pupil or nearly a quarter of their base funding.”

You can read more about this interesting research by Tracie Mauriello and Koby Levin at www.bridgemi.com 

Michigan Constitutional Amendments This Fall

Last week we told you about Proposal 1 that has term limits changes proposed for the state. There are two more amendments on the ballot:  

  • Proposal 2: adds changes to the constitution involving voting and elections.
  • Proposal 3: provides an explicit right to reproductive freedom.

Any constitutional amendment is important and voters need to get informed about the issues involved in the detail of the proposed amendment. The Citizens Research Council of Michigan has an opportunity for you to learn more about the three amendments.

You can join them online on Wednesday, October 5 from 10 am to 11:30 am for a webinar on the amendments. Register at www.crcmich.org.

“The CRC of Michigan does not take positions on ballot issues.”  They just provide analysis and information about the topic–in this case the proposed constitutional amendments.  

This webinar is free. Join them to learn more.

Quotes That Make Us Go Hmmm

“In France, when we decide to drain a swamp we do not consult the frogs.” A French Planning Practitioner.

“Human beings have an infinite capacity to ignore things that are not convenient.” Jan Karski.

“The ultimate test of leadership is not the polls you take, but the risks you take. In the short run, some risks prove overwhelming. Political courage can be self-defeating. But the greatest defeat of all would be to live without courage, for that would hardly be living at all.” Former President Gerald Ford.

Talk To Us

Keep your raves, laurels, rants and darts coming. Send them to us at david@ruralinsights.org. We love to read them. 

About Us

Rural Insights connects policy, information, news and culture to raise topics and stories/information you might have not seen or overlooked. We bring you original writing from Rural Insights and other researchers, change makers, and storytellers, as well as our latest research and analysis.

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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. Glen Miller on September 26, 2022 at 7:41 am

    Wonderful news letter

    • David S. Haynes on September 26, 2022 at 10:54 am

      Thanks. Tell your friends.

  2. Robert Hilton on September 26, 2022 at 8:29 am

    ROTC another good option for paying college costs and serving the nation.

  3. David S. Haynes on September 26, 2022 at 10:54 am

    Agree. More to come on this Rob

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