* States, including Michigan, have been reducing their financial commitment to higher education. The result: “Tuition revenues are up substantially due to higher prices and more enrollments, but not enough to offset losses of public funding,” said Paul Lingenfelter, the president of the higher education group, based in Boulder, Colo. “Students are paying more, while public institutions are receiving substantially less money to educate them. These one-year decreases in funding and increases in student costs are unprecedented over my 40-year career in higher education.”
Click through to this chart that shows Michigan’s trends since 1987. You’ll notice a consistent shift on dollars from state appropriations to tuition.
* Fascinating map from slate.com on commuting times by zip code. If you zoom in on Michigan, you will immediately notice that commuting times are not just a function of the dreaded “traffic.” Plenty of Upper Peninsula zips have commute times the equal to suburban areas around Detroit and Grand Rapids. Question: What’s better, a long-distance commute with less traffic, or a short-distance commute with more traffic?
* Odd things heard at State Capitol when discussion turned to investments in early childhood education.
* In “When America was female,” learn the story of Columbia, precursor and rival to Uncle Sam.
* The average age for women having their first child in Michigan increased nearly four full years between 1970 and 2006 to 25.0. The increase was just above the national mark of 3.6. The lowest average age is found in Mississippi (22.6) and the highest is in Connecticut (27.7). There’s a strong suspicion at LOL that this is a good development for Michigan and the nation. After all, plenty of research shows that births before age 20 increases the likelihood of poverty and other problems.
By the way, the average per-capita income in Connecticut was $57,902 in 2011, while in Mississippi it was $32,000.