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To the Editor,

Your article on expat returnees (March 10-23,1995) mentioned Mr Rudy Perpich,

a Croatian American, as being a Wisconsin politician. I am not sure the

residents of Wisconsin would welcome the association; nor am I sure that

Minnesota would easily disown Governor Rudy, one of its more colorful

politicians.

Former Governor Perpich was loved or hated, seldom ignored

and not easily forgotten. Speaking his mind freely on almost any subject, his

frequent gaffs kept the local press busy and interesting. An ongoing verbal duel

with the then Governor of South Dakota, (a neighboring state) was good

entertainment for the residents of both states for several years. After one

particularly heated exchange, Governor Rudy said: "The only good thing coming

out of South Dakota is Interstate 90." (I-90 being the major road between South

Dakota and Minnesota).

One a more serious note, Governor Perpich will be

remembered for his role in pushing through freedom of choice in public education

against widespread opposition from teachers, administrators politicians alike.

Put simply, students in Minnesota are allowed to choose schools and programs

that meet their needs. State assistance follows the student's choice, rewarding

schools that provide good education opportunities and reducing funds to those

which don't. More recently the Minnesota model has been held up by politicians

of a variety of persuasions as the way forward for educational reform in the US.

This dynamic educational system continues to serve Minnesota and its students

well; educational indicators and employment statistics for Minnesota are envied

by many in the US.

- John D. Busman, Minnesotan, Takeo province

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