By TOM LoBIANCO
Indiana Republican Gov. Mike Pence used a national appearance in New York City Monday to promote the state's efforts to improve career training.
Pence touted steps to improve vocational training before at NBC's Education Nation summit on a panel with two Democratic governors, Kentucky's Steve Beshear and Massachusetts' Deval Patrick. Pence also defended his choice to "pause" implementation of Common Core national education standards, when pressed by moderator Andrea Mitchell.
"I'm someone who believes education is a state and local function," Pence said.
Opposition to the national education standards has grown in the past year. Indiana lawmakers have spent the past summer studying the new rules and plan to have an answer ready when they return for their 2014 legislative session.
Pence tried to focus his comments Monday on his first-year efforts to improve coordination between Indiana's K-12 schools, colleges and manufacturing companies. He created a series of regional works councils earlier this year to study how to better coordinate education and training.
Pence has also looked to expand education overhauls championed by former Gov. Mitch Daniels and former School Superintendent Tony Bennett. But he has veered from the two on the issue of Common Core.
Pence stuck close to talking points he has relied on since first running for governor more than two years ago but did digress slightly to answer a question about in-state tuition for immigrant students. Indiana lawmakers outlawed in-state tuition in 2011 for students whose families entered the country illegally, but Pence signed a measure grandfathering in the small number of students who had received in-state rates before the law was passed.