To the Editor:

Breathtaking accolades for our schools continue to roll in. On Feb. 9, the Connecticut Department of Education released its annual state-wide school ratings. Drum roll: New Canaan is the No. 1 district in the state once more. Remarkably, we’re among only 27 percent of districts whose rating improved.

We should have a parade! From morning to night, our teachers, support staff, administrators and school volunteers should feel they are appreciated by all of us for a job well done. They make us proud, they improve our children’s futures, and they’re the secret sauce of our property values.

Unfortunately, the dominant message that educators — and home buyers — are hearing is a different one. It’s that New Canaan can’t justify spending the funds the Board of Education has decided are needed to keep our schools on top. Even though per-student costs are in the middle of the pack of our competitors.

As co-chair of the New Canaan Town Council’s education committee, I’ve studied all the arguments for reducing the school budget. They make sense only if they don’t risk collateral damage.

Being No. 1, we have farther to fall. So, we should take nothing for granted.

Cutting the Board of Education budget by $1.3 million (to the 2 percent maximum increase recommended by the Board of Finance) may adversely affect teacher morale, education quality, the reputation of our schools, and our property values. We don’t know the extent of those risks, though it’s implausible that no one would notice the cut. What we do know is that a $1.3 million cut would save homeowners about 1 percent in property taxes. For me, the savings would be about $200.

To avoid the risks, and to show my appreciation for our schools’ phenomenal success, I’m ready to write that check.

Does my decision ignore the potential impact of federal tax law changes, the revaluation and Connecticut’s fiscal crisis? To the contrary — the more grave those threats, the more important it is that we shore up the bulwark of our property values: the New Canaan Public Schools.

Tom Butterworth

New Canaan

To the Editor:

All else is diversion.

Here is a list of our Congresspeople to whom the National Rifle Association (NRA) has given money directly, and for whom they have spent on their behalf—through Oct. 4, 2017 (The New York Times): [All are Republican. The first Democrat is #41 on the list.]

Senate

John McCain (AZ) $7,740,521

Richard Burr (NC) 6,986,620

Roy Blunt (MO) 4,551,146

Thom Tillis (NC) 4,418,012

Cory Gardner (CO) 3,879,064

Marco Rubio (FL) 3,303,355

Joni Ernst (IA) 3,124,273

Rob Portman (OH) 3,061,941

Todd Young (IN) 2,896,732

Bill Cassidy (LA) 2,861,047

House

French Hill (AR) $1,089,477

Ken Buck (CO) 800,544

David Young (IA) 707,662

Mike Simpson (ID) 385,731

Greg Gianforte (MT) 344,630

Don Young (AK) 245,720

Lloyd Smucker (PA) 221,736

Bruce Poliquin (ME) 201,398

Pete Sessions (TX) 158,111

Barbara Comstock (VA) 137,232

Shame, shame, shame on them!

My fellow neighbors, why don’t we crowd-source an effort to raise the $150,000 to list in a full-page ad in The New York Times those who suspend (sell) their conscience?

Norman R. Klein, Ph.D.

Westport