I attended Monday’s panel discussion on the importance of early-childhood education at the United Way of Santa Fe’s Children’s Project on La Madera Street, which serves about 250 kids – about 100 of whom are in pre-K programming. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan chose United Way as the kick-off locale for his four-state bus tour this week. He’s busing through the Southwest in a colorful bus, promoting pre-K, increasing graduation rates, and making college more affordable. You can pretty much assume that all of this is gonna cost somebody money.

Santa Fe author, businessman, and educational advocate Alan Webber told the assembly that while figuring in the cost – $75 billion from the federal side, with states providing matching money to some degree – we should also factor in the cost of “doing nothing.” He said, “Don’t just do the math on the cost of this investment, but do the math on the cost of not pursuing this investment.”

Here’s a link to my story in today’s New Mexican: