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Pence speaks on education ahead of Obama visit

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit on Friday, Gov. Mike Pence released a statement that politely sent the message that Indiana can handle funding higher education on its own.

Obama’s visit is to Ivy Tech Community College, where he’ll tout his proposal to provide Americans with two free years of community college.

There is already a similar proposal in the Indiana General Assembly and it’s going nowhere. The plan calls for using gaming taxes, the general fund and the surplus to fund it, which isn’t a popular idea.

This is Pence’s statement in its entirety:

“Indiana has worked hard to make college more affordable, and our financial aid for community college is among the most generous in the nation. Because of our state’s financial aid programs, community college is already free for a significant number of our students and heavily discounted for others. The State of Indiana receives federal funds for a broad range of programs and would certainly evaluate funds to help Hoosiers attain college degrees, should Congress make them available. The best way to increase graduation rates is to make sure that our students are academically prepared for college and that colleges and universities encourage students to graduate on time with the least expense to them and their families.”

Obama’s remarks at Ivy Tech aren’t open to the public.