- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 4, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is defending his decision to bypass an $80 million federal grant for preschool education as he touts Indiana’s efforts to prepare its students to succeed in the workplace.

Pence told the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce Wednesday that he felt Indiana should use its own resources to launch the pre-K program that serves 1,000 disadvantaged children. He says it wasn’t appropriate to accept federal money to expand the program before it had started.

Critics have said the grant could have helped thousands of additional students.

Pence touted the state’s voucher and charter school programs and said efforts to make career and vocational education available in high schools are critical to closing the skills gap and giving students more career options.

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