I commend The Bellingham Herald for its recent article entitled "Investment in early learning pays big dividends." The entire article was full of good information, but there was one statement in particular that resonated with me: "There is no greater investment this nation can make than an investment in its young children." As the article points out, we can save as much as $7 for every $1 invested in high-quality early childhood education. Most of these savings come from lower juvenile and adult crime when these kids grow up. The studies on the positive effects of investing in very young children reinforce what I have seen in decades of law enforcement. Children who do not get off to a good start and arrive at kindergarten unprepared are too often destined to fail. When these kids drop out of school they are far more likely to commit crimes than those who graduate. In fact, high school dropouts are eight times more likely to be incarcerated than high school graduates. The bill introduced by Sen. Patty Murray and others last week is "ambitious" and a strong step forward for our children, our schools, our communities and the future of our country. I hope our state's Congressional delegation joins their colleagues across the nation in supporting the Strong Start for America's Children Act.