MnB talks Michigan Football with 104.9 The Horn

July 21, 2014 by  
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Maize n Brew's Football Editor, Joshua Henschke, speaks with ESPN's 104.9 The Horn's "Afternoons with Bucky and Erin" to discuss Michigan's upcoming season.

A Dozen Reasons for a Dozen Years

July 21, 2014 by  
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twelve years of marriage

We’ve been married for 12 years.

A dozen years.

That happened fast.

This is the first year that I almost forgot about our anniversary.

And by almost, I mean..I forgot about it until I remembered a couple days ago. I completely forgot the date.

Not because I don’t love my husband. In fact, I love him an awful lot.

It’s just, I guess the one day on the calendar gets lost in the everyday shuffle of to-do lists and other life events taken over by 5 kids.

I haven’t even gotten him a card yet.

It’s our anniversary.

Honestly, I can’t believe we’ve been married as long as we have.

Time really flies when you’re having fun.

We’ve had some ups and some downs, as to be expected.

We’ve had major twists and turns, some not so expected.

But, all in all, it’s been a great twelve years.

So, this year, in honor of our almost forgotten TWELVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY, I present you with twelve things I love about my husband. I could come up with more reasons but I need to save them for future posts, of course.

Keep in mind, I’m not a romantic nor am I a mushy, lovey-dovey person. Thankfully, neither is my husband.

Anyway…

I love the fact that, even though I mostly work from home, he still pitches in with all the household stuff. He doesn’t expect more from me than what I’m capable of doing! I think that he realized 13 years ago, when we started dating, I wasn’t the most domestic of all domestic engineers. Thankfully, he is more domestic than I am.

I love that he is playful and silly. We may not be a romantic, hold hands and make out type of couple..but we are on a level playing field when it comes to being…well…playful. Instead of hugging in the kitchen, like my parents used to do…we have fake karate, wrestling matches that inevitably end with me getting a little bruised. But that’s okay, I can’t complain.

I love the fact that we both have separate interests but we also have many of the same ones. He likes playing poker every Friday night which allows me to escape to my friend’s houses to hang. But then, we go out another night and do what we both enjoy. Together.

I love how he is with my daughter. I mention her, in particular, because they have a special bond. They are proof that being Daddy/Daughter isn’t blood relative. She’s just so lucky to have him. And, I think he’s pretty lucky to have her.

I love how he encourages me to chase after whichever dream I’m dreaming at the moment. Because, I’ve switched directions way too many times to count. Yet, he is always my biggest supporter in whatever online, offline venture I’m in pursuit of.

I love that we get addicted to the same television series! He loves the paranormals and zombies as much as I do.  And we love the same types of movies.

I love that he is truly my best friend.

I love that he ‘gets’ me. And I ‘get’ him. Even when he’s pissing me off!

I love how hands on he is with our mixed batch of brats. He’s there. He’s present. And all the kids know it.

I love that we rarely fight. When we do, they are doozies. But, they become forgotten by both of us and we move onto the next matter at hand…usually involving food.

I love our marriage. I love our relationship. I love him.

And I love that he loves me.

Happy Dozen to my husband. In the most un-mushy way…I love you with all my heart.

You’re one lucky guy, ya know!

Then again, I’m pretty darn lucky, too.

Here’s to many more where this one came from!

 

MnB B1G Preview: Ohio State’s schedule isn’t as easy as you may think

July 21, 2014 by  
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Ohio State ran into the buzz saw that was the Michigan State Spartans in 2013, and although there are some teams who used to be cupcakes, there could be a couple stumbling blocks on the road to another shot at the Big Ten Championship.

Will Ohio State be able to run the table? Let's take a look at their schedule and find out...

8/30 @ Navy

If you've ready anything that I've written before, I've said that I won't criticize any of the service academies; those men are going to do something far greater than those of us who haven't served, and football is just a game. Luckily for Navy, though, even if I were to criticize the academies, I still wouldn't have much bad to say about the Middies. They have become a consistently successful program by any standard: after winning somewhere between one and three games each year for something like 40 years, they've won eight games or more ten times since 2000. The triple-option-we-use-rushing-like-the-Canadians-use-passing-to-kill-you offense is going to put quite a bit of pressure on the Buckeyes. Oh, and they have the second best helmet in college football.

9/6 Virginia Tech

Frank Beamer, Frank Beamer, Frank Beamer. No matter who the Hokies have on the field, head coach Frank Beamer is the heart and soul of this team. He expects a lot from his teams, and he gets a lot. Okay, so the Hokies have gone 15-11 the last two seasons, but don't forget that they went 121-38 from 2000-2011. It's only a matter of time before VT is good again, but a replacement needs to be found for the frustratingly inconsistent Logan Thomas at the quarterback position.

9/13 Kent State

Ohio State's tour of the "Worst State Ever" starts here with Kent State. It really sucks being a MAC school with a good coach, doesn't it? Darrell Hazell exploded onto the scene with Kent State and promptly left for Purdue. Great move. Now, the Golden Flashes have to figure out a way to succeed without Dri Archer, too.

9/27 Cincinnati

Is there a chance that Urban Meyer will throw his alma mater a bone and allow the Bearcats to get a win here? Nope. Besides, even though Cincinnati won nine games in 2013, a 14-0 win over winless Miami and a six-point loss to a two-win South Florida team are hardly evidence of success. However, Tommy Tuberville may be able to have his team play the surprising challenger.

10/4 @ Maryland

I've brought up Stefon Diggs and Deon Long every time I needed to say something about the Terps, and with good reason. Maryland still finished the season ranked in the top 50 in passing even after losing those two men half way through the season. With the Ohio State secondary potentially having issues again this year, and after finishing ranked 110th in passing yards allowed last year, C.J. Brown should be super happy to have his two top targets back.

10/18 Rutgers

Hey, if you can't play Purdue...

10/25 @ Penn State

Penn State hasn't beaten Ohio State in Beaver Stadium since 2005. Christian Hackenberg (and a new receiving group that needs to produce) should be able to work over the OSU secondary, but the Buckeyes are too talented on offense to give up the ghost in this one and should be able to handle the Lions once again--regardless of what a "concerned PSU alum" said to me in an email. Sorry, "concerned".

11/1 Illinois

The Illini have a tough row to hoe in 2014, with games at Washington, at Nebraska, at Wisconsin, and at Ohio State. Sandwiched in there are Texas State, Purdue, and Minnesota, so it appears as though Illinois will have one of those seasons of alternating wins and losses; no streaks or consistency.

11/8 @ Michigan State

The rematch of last year's B1G Championship Game will possibly be for a berth in this year's championship. I bet the Buckeyes are tired of Michigan schools playing the spoiler to their national title aspirations.

11/15 @ Minnesota

The Gophers are in the unenviable position of being on the wrong side of two incredibly dominated series. One is against Michigan, and the other against the Buckeyes. Although Minnesota had a thrilling 12-point win in 2000, it was only the second win against Ohio State since 1981. If there has ever been a Gophers coach who could change that streak, it is Jerry Kill; a man who may not get the best talent every year, but he's someone who can get the absolute best out of the talent he does have. And make no mistake, Mitch Leidner, Drew Wolitarsky, Maxx Williams, and David Cobb are very talented offensive players. Their defense may even be able to improve on last year's overall ranking of 43rd in the country. Wouldn't that be something?

11/22 Indiana

Back in 2011 and 2012 the Hoosiers were able to keep their losses to Ohio State to pretty close scores: 34-20 and 52-49. 2013 was supposed to be a breakthrough year for Indiana, but even they couldn't take advantage of a Buckeye secondary that was the weakest part of the team; the result was a 42-14 loss in Columbus. This year's narrative is similar--Indiana has an explosive offense (missing some pieces from last year, though) and the Buckeye secondary is still questionable. That said, we're about 26 years out from the last Hoosier victory over the Buckeyes.

11/29 Michigan

A missed two-point conversion was the only thing that separated these two great rivals in last year's match-up. Devin Gardner's performance was borderline mythical and, in spite of the worst offensive line in the history of Michigan football, he almost won the game all on his own. Does that say more about Michigan? Or more about Ohio State?

The Outlook

  • Sure Things -- Kent State, Cincinnati, Rutgers, Indiana
  • Probable -- Maryland, Penn State, Illinois, Minnesota
  • Toss-up(s) -- Navy, Virginia Tech, Michigan State, Michigan

Yes, Urban Meyer went 24-2 in his first two seasons in Columbus, but after looking at their schedule, I don't think I'm as confident in their ability to just walk through the Big Ten as I was when I first started doing these schedule previews. Although I have Maryland, Penn State, Illinois, and Minnesota in the "Probable" category, they have the potential to be more difficult and threatening than we would normally assume. Maryland hasn't been seen by Big Ten teams yet, and they have some serious threats at the wide receiver position. Penn State boasts a quarterback who could be at the top of the league. Illinois will be in their second season under Bill Cubit's leadership on offense. And Minnesota has improved every year under Jerry Kill. Both Michigan schools are in the toss-up category because 1) Michigan State is the defending champion and they deserve all the respect that goes along with that status, and 2) Michigan was a two-point conversion away from spoiling the Buckeyes' season in 2013.

At the very very least, the Buckeyes will win eight hard-fought games; ten is where I draw the line. If I were forced to choose two losses for Ohio State, I'd put money on Navy and Michigan State. Mark it down, people, Ohio State will be 10-2.

Minnesota: a high-tax, high-prosperity state

July 21, 2014 by  
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Many states, including Michigan, have embraced low taxes and small government as their strategy to try to grow their economies.

Minnesota has long trod a different path, one that features high taxes and smart investments in areas such as transportation, cities and education.

It also has the strongest economy in the Great Lakes region and ranks among the wealthiest states in the country, as Michigan Future has documented in its studies and blog posts.

The state repudiates the notion that high taxes are inherently harmful to economic growth.

The exact opposite is occurring in Minnesota, which like Michigan is a cold-weather state.

Minnesota’s real per capita income in 2012 was $46,227, an eye-popping $8,730 more than Michigan’s per capita income of $37,497. Minnesota ranked 11th in per capita income in 2012, far above Michigan at 35th.

And Minnesota’s job market is much healthier than Michigan’s. Its jobless rate in April was 4.7 percent, while 7.4 percent of Michigan’s residents were unemployed in April.

Perhaps a more important measure is the percentage of adults who are working or available to work. Minnesota had the third-highest labor force participation rate in the country at 70.6 percent in March. Just 60.4 percent of Michigan adults were in the labor force that month, well below the U.S. average of 63.4 percent.

The North Star State has achieved this enviable record with a hefty tax burden that those in the home state of “Prairie Home Companion” host Garrison Keillor sometimes joke about.

“Minnesota residents pay some of the highest taxes in the country and give what’s left over to Minnesota Public Radio,” cracked Dane Smith, president of Growth & Justice, a progressive research and advocacy group in St. Paul.

State taxes alone were $3,880 per capita in Minnesota in 2013, 53 percent above Michigan taxes per capita of $2,535.

Minnesota ranks 6th in state taxes per capita, while Michigan ranks 26th, according to the Federation of Tax Administrators.

At the heart of Minnesota’s tax system is a belief that the wealthy should pay a higher percentage of their income than those on the lower rungs of the income scale.

Minnesota has a progressive personal income tax system in which tax rates range from 5.35 percent to 9.85 percent. The top rate was boosted in 2013 from 7.85 percent, part of a plan to raise an additional $2.1 billion in tax revenues over two years.

In Michigan, everyone pays a flat tax rate of 4.25 percent.

Minnesota businesses also pay much higher taxes than their Michigan counterparts. Minnesota’s corporate income tax rate is 9.8 percent, compared to Michigan’s 6 percent rate.

Both states apply their corporate income taxes to only “C” corporations. But all other Minnesota businesses are subject to a “minimum fee” ranging from $100 to $5,000. That state collected $1.7 billion in business taxes in 2013, compared to $735 million in Michigan business tax revenues.

Minnesota also raises far more money than Michigan does for roads, bridges and public transit.  The state taxes gasoline and diesel fuel at 28.6 cents a gallon, 9.6 cents a gallon more than Michigan’s 19 cent-a-gallon gasoline tax. Michigan taxes diesel fuel at 15 cents a gallon.

Total transportation taxes in Minnesota last year were $391 per capita compared to Michigan’s $232 per capita.

Michigan is engaged in a legislative debate over whether to boost road taxes by more than $1 billion a year to fix its rapidly crumbling roads.

The sales tax in Minnesota also is higher than in Michigan—6.875 percent in Minnesota compared to 6 percent in Michigan.

A variety of local units in Minnesota, including schools and local governments, are permitted to assess a local sales tax. Depending on where they live, Minnesota residents can pay a sales tax rate of as much as 7.875 percent.

As in Michigan, there is a debate in Minnesota over the optimal level of taxation. The business community, in particular, has long complained that high taxes make Minnesota less attractive to new investment.

But Minnesota’s high per capita income and strong job market make it difficult to argue that the state is on the wrong path.

MinnesotaReportCover-300x199
Read Michigan Future’s latest report here.

The post Minnesota: a high-tax, high-prosperity state appeared first on Michigan Future Inc..

Minnesota: a high-tax, high-prosperity state

July 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Business

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Many states, including Michigan, have embraced low taxes and small government as their strategy to try to grow their economies.

Minnesota has long trod a different path, one that features high taxes and smart investments in areas such as transportation, cities and education.

It also has the strongest economy in the Great Lakes region and ranks among the wealthiest states in the country, as Michigan Future has documented in its studies and blog posts.

The state repudiates the notion that high taxes are inherently harmful to economic growth.

The exact opposite is occurring in Minnesota, which like Michigan is a cold-weather state.

Minnesota’s real per capita income in 2012 was $46,227, an eye-popping $8,730 more than Michigan’s per capita income of $37,497. Minnesota ranked 11th in per capita income in 2012, far above Michigan at 35th.

And Minnesota’s job market is much healthier than Michigan’s. Its jobless rate in April was 4.7 percent, while 7.4 percent of Michigan’s residents were unemployed in April.

Perhaps a more important measure is the percentage of adults who are working or available to work. Minnesota had the third-highest labor force participation rate in the country at 70.6 percent in March. Just 60.4 percent of Michigan adults were in the labor force that month, well below the U.S. average of 63.4 percent.

The North Star State has achieved this enviable record with a hefty tax burden that those in the home state of “Prairie Home Companion” host Garrison Keillor sometimes joke about.

“Minnesota residents pay some of the highest taxes in the country and give what’s left over to Minnesota Public Radio,” cracked Dane Smith, president of Growth & Justice, a progressive research and advocacy group in St. Paul.

State taxes alone were $3,880 per capita in Minnesota in 2013, 53 percent above Michigan taxes per capita of $2,535.

Minnesota ranks 6th in state taxes per capita, while Michigan ranks 26th, according to the Federation of Tax Administrators.

At the heart of Minnesota’s tax system is a belief that the wealthy should pay a higher percentage of their income than those on the lower rungs of the income scale.

Minnesota has a progressive personal income tax system in which tax rates range from 5.35 percent to 9.85 percent. The top rate was boosted in 2013 from 7.85 percent, part of a plan to raise an additional $2.1 billion in tax revenues over two years.

In Michigan, everyone pays a flat tax rate of 4.25 percent.

Minnesota businesses also pay much higher taxes than their Michigan counterparts. Minnesota’s corporate income tax rate is 9.8 percent, compared to Michigan’s 6 percent rate.

Both states apply their corporate income taxes to only “C” corporations. But all other Minnesota businesses are subject to a “minimum fee” ranging from $100 to $5,000. That state collected $1.7 billion in business taxes in 2013, compared to $735 million in Michigan business tax revenues.

Minnesota also raises far more money than Michigan does for roads, bridges and public transit.  The state taxes gasoline and diesel fuel at 28.6 cents a gallon, 9.6 cents a gallon more than Michigan’s 19 cent-a-gallon gasoline tax. Michigan taxes diesel fuel at 15 cents a gallon.

Total transportation taxes in Minnesota last year were $391 per capita compared to Michigan’s $232 per capita.

Michigan is engaged in a legislative debate over whether to boost road taxes by more than $1 billion a year to fix its rapidly crumbling roads.

The sales tax in Minnesota also is higher than in Michigan—6.875 percent in Minnesota compared to 6 percent in Michigan.

A variety of local units in Minnesota, including schools and local governments, are permitted to assess a local sales tax. Depending on where they live, Minnesota residents can pay a sales tax rate of as much as 7.875 percent.

As in Michigan, there is a debate in Minnesota over the optimal level of taxation. The business community, in particular, has long complained that high taxes make Minnesota less attractive to new investment.

But Minnesota’s high per capita income and strong job market make it difficult to argue that the state is on the wrong path.

MinnesotaReportCover-300x199
Read Michigan Future’s latest report here.

The post Minnesota: a high-tax, high-prosperity state appeared first on Michigan Future Inc..

A Tale of Two States: Education & More from #StatePoliciesMatter Author, Rick Haglund

July 21, 2014 by  
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Art Rolnick, the former director of research at the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank and an expert on economic development, says the secret to Minnesota’s decades of prosperity is found in its commitment to developing human capital.

“The key to the success of Minnesota’s economy over the past 50 years is the quality of its work force,” said Rolnick, co-director of the Human Capital Research Collaborative at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Minnesota has long been a leader in support for education, from preschool through higher education. The results of that commitment are impressive.

Last year’s graduating seniors in Minnesota posted an average composite score of 23.0 on the ACT test, the highest in the nation among the 28 states in which more than half the college-bound students took the test in 2013.

Minnesota has led the nation in average composite ACT scores for eight consecutive years. Thirty-nine percent of Minnesota high school students were deemed college-ready in all four subjects in the ACT last year, among the best in the country.

In Michigan, 21 percent of 2013 high school graduates were considered college ready. All of the state’s graduates were required to take the ACT, while about 74 percent of Minnesota’s graduates took the test.

The state’s investment in higher education—and its ability to retain and attract college graduates—has resulted in the state having one of the most highly educated work forces in the country, a clear advantage in growing a knowledge-based economy.

In 2012, 33.2 percent of Minnesotans had a bachelor’s degree or above, the 10th highest in the nation. Michigan ranked 36th with 26 percent of its residents having a bachelor’s degree or above.

Minnesota is a pioneer in recognizing the value of early childhood education for its youngest residents. A 2006 business-led pilot program in St. Paul led to the creation in 2011 of an organization called Parent Aware for School Readiness, which promotes a preschool rating system overseen by the Minnesota Department of Education.

Scholarships are awarded for students to attend only four-star-rated programs run by the private sector and public schools systems.

In the 2013 fiscal year Minnesota spent $153 million from state resources on preschool and childcare assistance and added $30 million more in the 2014 fiscal year.

Michigan also has committed more money to early childhood education. It boosted state funding by $65 million for the current fiscal year, more than any other state.

Minnesota spent $28 per capita on early childhood programming in the 2013 fiscal year, while Michigan spent $27 per capita.

Minnesota also outspent Michigan in K-12 funding by $620 per capita from state and local resources in 2013. Minnesota spent $2,067 per capita while Michigan spent $1,447 per capita on K-12 education.

Michigan’s spending of $14.6 billion in 2013 included $3.4 billion from local funding while Minnesota’s $11.1 billion included $2.3 billion from local property taxes.

Minnesota, a state with about 55 percent of the population of Michigan, spent about 75 percent as much as Michigan did on universities and community colleges in the 2013 fiscal year.

Michigan spent about $1.7 billion on higher education and community colleges, while Minnesota spent about $1.3 billion, mostly for the University of Minnesota and the 31 community colleges and state universities in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

That works out to $243 per capita in Minnesota compared to $172 per capita in higher education spending in Michigan.

Minnesota budgeted an additional $127.1 million for higher education in the 2014 and 2015 years in exchange for a tuition freeze in those years by its colleges and universities.

After years of cutting, Michigan also is boosting funding for higher education. The state’s 15 universities will share nearly $80 million in additional funding in the 2015 fiscal year. But they are required to limit tuition increases to 3.2 percent and meet certain performance goals to receive full funding.

“The increase will help universities make access to higher education available to more students, and give them the resources to continue serving as an important engine of entrepreneurship and research that is vital to growing an economy in the 21st century,” said Michael Boulus, executive director of the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan.

That’s something the Minnesota has long understood.

infographicsfeat
Read the latest report from Michigan Future here.

The post A Tale of Two States: Education & More from #StatePoliciesMatter Author, Rick Haglund appeared first on Michigan Future Inc..

A Tale of Two States: Education & More from #StatePoliciesMatter Author, Rick Haglund

July 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Business

Comments Off

Art Rolnick, the former director of research at the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank and an expert on economic development, says the secret to Minnesota’s decades of prosperity is found in its commitment to developing human capital.

“The key to the success of Minnesota’s economy over the past 50 years is the quality of its work force,” said Rolnick, co-director of the Human Capital Research Collaborative at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Minnesota has long been a leader in support for education, from preschool through higher education. The results of that commitment are impressive.

Last year’s graduating seniors in Minnesota posted an average composite score of 23.0 on the ACT test, the highest in the nation among the 28 states in which more than half the college-bound students took the test in 2013.

Minnesota has led the nation in average composite ACT scores for eight consecutive years. Thirty-nine percent of Minnesota high school students were deemed college-ready in all four subjects in the ACT last year, among the best in the country.

In Michigan, 21 percent of 2013 high school graduates were considered college ready. All of the state’s graduates were required to take the ACT, while about 74 percent of Minnesota’s graduates took the test.

The state’s investment in higher education—and its ability to retain and attract college graduates—has resulted in the state having one of the most highly educated work forces in the country, a clear advantage in growing a knowledge-based economy.

In 2012, 33.2 percent of Minnesotans had a bachelor’s degree or above, the 10th highest in the nation. Michigan ranked 36th with 26 percent of its residents having a bachelor’s degree or above.

Minnesota is a pioneer in recognizing the value of early childhood education for its youngest residents. A 2006 business-led pilot program in St. Paul led to the creation in 2011 of an organization called Parent Aware for School Readiness, which promotes a preschool rating system overseen by the Minnesota Department of Education.

Scholarships are awarded for students to attend only four-star-rated programs run by the private sector and public schools systems.

In the 2013 fiscal year Minnesota spent $153 million from state resources on preschool and childcare assistance and added $30 million more in the 2014 fiscal year.

Michigan also has committed more money to early childhood education. It boosted state funding by $65 million for the current fiscal year, more than any other state.

Minnesota spent $28 per capita on early childhood programming in the 2013 fiscal year, while Michigan spent $27 per capita.

Minnesota also outspent Michigan in K-12 funding by $620 per capita from state and local resources in 2013. Minnesota spent $2,067 per capita while Michigan spent $1,447 per capita on K-12 education.

Michigan’s spending of $14.6 billion in 2013 included $3.4 billion from local funding while Minnesota’s $11.1 billion included $2.3 billion from local property taxes.

Minnesota, a state with about 55 percent of the population of Michigan, spent about 75 percent as much as Michigan did on universities and community colleges in the 2013 fiscal year.

Michigan spent about $1.7 billion on higher education and community colleges, while Minnesota spent about $1.3 billion, mostly for the University of Minnesota and the 31 community colleges and state universities in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

That works out to $243 per capita in Minnesota compared to $172 per capita in higher education spending in Michigan.

Minnesota budgeted an additional $127.1 million for higher education in the 2014 and 2015 years in exchange for a tuition freeze in those years by its colleges and universities.

After years of cutting, Michigan also is boosting funding for higher education. The state’s 15 universities will share nearly $80 million in additional funding in the 2015 fiscal year. But they are required to limit tuition increases to 3.2 percent and meet certain performance goals to receive full funding.

“The increase will help universities make access to higher education available to more students, and give them the resources to continue serving as an important engine of entrepreneurship and research that is vital to growing an economy in the 21st century,” said Michael Boulus, executive director of the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan.

That’s something the Minnesota has long understood.

infographicsfeat
Read the latest report from Michigan Future here.

The post A Tale of Two States: Education & More from #StatePoliciesMatter Author, Rick Haglund appeared first on Michigan Future Inc..

A Tale of Two States: Education & More from #StatePoliciesMatter Author, Rick Haglund

July 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Business

Comments Off

Art Rolnick, the former director of research at the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank and an expert on economic development, says the secret to Minnesota’s decades of prosperity is found in its commitment to developing human capital.

“The key to the success of Minnesota’s economy over the past 50 years is the quality of its work force,” said Rolnick, co-director of the Human Capital Research Collaborative at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Minnesota has long been a leader in support for education, from preschool through higher education. The results of that commitment are impressive.

Last year’s graduating seniors in Minnesota posted an average composite score of 23.0 on the ACT test, the highest in the nation among the 28 states in which more than half the college-bound students took the test in 2013.

Minnesota has led the nation in average composite ACT scores for eight consecutive years. Thirty-nine percent of Minnesota high school students were deemed college-ready in all four subjects in the ACT last year, among the best in the country.

In Michigan, 21 percent of 2013 high school graduates were considered college ready. All of the state’s graduates were required to take the ACT, while about 74 percent of Minnesota’s graduates took the test.

The state’s investment in higher education—and its ability to retain and attract college graduates—has resulted in the state having one of the most highly educated work forces in the country, a clear advantage in growing a knowledge-based economy.

In 2012, 33.2 percent of Minnesotans had a bachelor’s degree or above, the 10th highest in the nation. Michigan ranked 36th with 26 percent of its residents having a bachelor’s degree or above.

Minnesota is a pioneer in recognizing the value of early childhood education for its youngest residents. A 2006 business-led pilot program in St. Paul led to the creation in 2011 of an organization called Parent Aware for School Readiness, which promotes a preschool rating system overseen by the Minnesota Department of Education.

Scholarships are awarded for students to attend only four-star-rated programs run by the private sector and public schools systems.

In the 2013 fiscal year Minnesota spent $153 million from state resources on preschool and childcare assistance and added $30 million more in the 2014 fiscal year.

Michigan also has committed more money to early childhood education. It boosted state funding by $65 million for the current fiscal year, more than any other state.

Minnesota spent $28 per capita on early childhood programming in the 2013 fiscal year, while Michigan spent $27 per capita.

Minnesota also outspent Michigan in K-12 funding by $620 per capita from state and local resources in 2013. Minnesota spent $2,067 per capita while Michigan spent $1,447 per capita on K-12 education.

Michigan’s spending of $14.6 billion in 2013 included $3.4 billion from local funding while Minnesota’s $11.1 billion included $2.3 billion from local property taxes.

Minnesota, a state with about 55 percent of the population of Michigan, spent about 75 percent as much as Michigan did on universities and community colleges in the 2013 fiscal year.

Michigan spent about $1.7 billion on higher education and community colleges, while Minnesota spent about $1.3 billion, mostly for the University of Minnesota and the 31 community colleges and state universities in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

That works out to $243 per capita in Minnesota compared to $172 per capita in higher education spending in Michigan.

Minnesota budgeted an additional $127.1 million for higher education in the 2014 and 2015 years in exchange for a tuition freeze in those years by its colleges and universities.

After years of cutting, Michigan also is boosting funding for higher education. The state’s 15 universities will share nearly $80 million in additional funding in the 2015 fiscal year. But they are required to limit tuition increases to 3.2 percent and meet certain performance goals to receive full funding.

“The increase will help universities make access to higher education available to more students, and give them the resources to continue serving as an important engine of entrepreneurship and research that is vital to growing an economy in the 21st century,” said Michael Boulus, executive director of the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan.

That’s something the Minnesota has long understood.

The post A Tale of Two States: Education & More from #StatePoliciesMatter Author, Rick Haglund appeared first on Michigan Future Inc..

Fun in Oregon

July 21, 2014 by  
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If you're like me, you might not know that "Oregon" actually more closely rhymes with "fun" than "on." That was one of the first things I learned upon arriving in the state in late June for our most recent family vacation. More importantly, I learned that Oregon is a beautiful and fun-filled destination for a family adventure with our intrepid traveler, Elliot.

Highlights of the week or so we split between coastal town Cannon Beach and hipster hangout Portland include:

  • Tidal pools: When I think of starfish, I used to think of dried-up, sand-colored creatures. No longer. Since we had the opportunity to wade through the tidal pools that form around the 220-foot high Haystack Rock during low tide periods, I now know that starfish come in colors including orange and purple. We marveled at the number of shellfish attached to the rocks and the brilliant colors of the anemones. And, we got to look through telescopes and see nesting puffins high up in the rocks.
  •  Hiking: Buying Elliot his very first pair of hiking boots before our trip was a flash of inspiration. One day, he hiked three miles! Up and down hills, through mud, over tree roots and rocks went out nimble-footed almost five-year-old. Whenever there was an opportunity to further explore, Elliot took it...whether is was using a downed tree as a pathway or seeing how many tree trunk hole "animal shelters" he could squeeze into.
  • Portland Blues Festival: Tim, Elliot and I love live music, and when we're on vacation, we really enjoy attending local events. The waterfront Portland Blues Festival was a great chance to blend in with the Portlanders and listen to some tunes on a beautiful night. And, we just happened to catch Los Lonely Boys, a band we actually know!
  •  Ice cream: No vacation would be complete without ice cream, and the ice cream we enjoyed in Portland was especially memorable. We went to two artisan ice cream shops where we sampled homemade flavors like bourbon coffee (not Elliot), strawberry balsamic and ooey-gooey brownie. One advertised flavor none of us was brave enough to try was habanero goat cheese marionberry!
Throughout our trip, Elliot literally skipped and danced with delight while playing on the (chilly) beach, wandering through the Japanese Gardens, exploring the zoo and just meandering down the streets. So, we knew he was having fun...and so were we. And that's the most important part of any vacation.


Monday Michigan Recruiting Roundup: Mike Weber Looking to BBQ

July 21, 2014 by  
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The MRR updates you on the latest with Michigan football recruiting. In this edition, Mike Weber updates his recruitment, Darrin Kirkland Jr. shoots down a rumor, Brian Cole will visit on July 25 and more players that are slated to appear at the BBQ at the Big House.

Wolverines Cranking Up the Heat on Mike Weber

It's no secret that the Michigan Wolverines have put almost all of their eggs in one basket in terms of the running back they are recruiting the hardest during the 2015 cycle.

That man is four-star prospect Mike Weber (Detroit, MI), who Michigan has reportedly made great strides with in the last few weeks or so. It's been made pretty clear that he is their number-one option by a wide margin at the position in this class.

Weber has stated on many occasions that his mind is constantly changing in terms of who his top schools are, but the trend of the last few weeks seem to point towards Michigan being near the top, if not his top choice at this point.

The Michigan staff and haul of current commits have gone far out of their way to show Weber how much he is wanted in Ann Arbor. They have been in his ear constantly and recently it looks to have helped their chances.

With all of this being said, a decision will likely not come any time soon. He told me back in June at Sound Mind Sound Body that he wants to make his decision at the U.S Army All American Game in January. An announcement could come before that, but definitely not in the near future.

Steve Wiltfong of 247 Sports talked to Weber about much of what I just covered above. You can check that article out here. ($)

Kirkland Still a Michigan Commit, Shoots Down Silly Rumor

Over the weekend, there was a rumor going around the likes of Twitter that 2015 four-star linebacker commit Darrin Kirkland Jr. (Indianapolis, IN) was expected to decommit from the University of Michigan soon because of a change to his Twitter profile.

Well, Scout's Sam Webb spoke with Kirkland himself and took to Twitter to clear up the situation.

So he isn't going anywhere. Another internet rumor debunked.

I guess the reason I chose to address this in the roundup is as a PSA of sorts with the message being very simple.

Don't read too much into what recruits do, period.

So maybe a kid decides to change his profile picture or change his bio. Who cares? It's kind of creepy that there are those out there that follow things this closely at times.

Recruiting is so incredibly fluid. There are always moving parts and things that can change with the status of a player, but not much can be read from what an athlete does on the internet.

And for the record, Kirkland cites "734" in his profile, which is Ann Arbor's area code, so I think he definitely plans on sticking around.

Fret not, Michigan fans.

Brian Cole Visiting Michigan This Weekend

In news that is actually concrete and has legitimate backing to it, the Wolverines will get a visit from one of their top prospects on the 2015 board this weekend.

Four-star athlete Brian Cole (Saginaw, MI) will be in Ann Arbor this weekend, according to 247's Steve Lorenz.

This is a fantastic chance for the Wolverines to become a potential landing spot for his talents. He has the ability to play cornerback, but it looks the Michigan views him as a wide receiver, which is another position they have yet to fill in this cycle.

Cole is the top player in the state of Michigan and it looks like it will be a battle between the Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans, who seem to be his leaders as of now.

Many of Michigan's top 2015 and 2016 prospects will be in attendance at the BBQ, so it will be a good chance for him to bond with some potential teammates over the weekend and explore further what the university has to offer him.

Tentative BBQ Visitor List

I have been getting questions on Twitter about a visitors list for the BBQ, and while not everything is completely set in stone as of yet, Brandon Brown over at MGoBlog assembled a list a week or so ago of the guys he expects to be in attendance and those who will pass.

You can find that list here. (FREE)

I'll try to get a more updated list into the Wednesday and Friday roundups, as it is likely that things will change and we'll have more to report heading into the weekend.

That's it for Monday. Check back in with us in two days for more news and updates on Michigan football recruiting.

Be sure to follow Maize N Brew's Anthony Broome on Twitter, @anthonytbroome.

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