In response to your column “painful lessons in school cuts,” you seem to have policies and administrative decisions confused.
I have been a public school educator/administrator for 37 years. I have a Ph.D. in school administration and for years served as the liaison for the district between the board of education, superintendent, and community.
The duty of a Board of Education is to set policy such as setting the budget. They hire (and fire) the superintendent whose job is to carry out those policies through administrative decisions such as the number of staff and their salaries. The superintendent makes his recommendations after gathering and reviewing all pertinent data. Discussions on who should be hired or fired or whose salary should be cut is a personnel issue that should not be open to public discussions.
The public has its say when they elect board members to represent them.
The policy is to stay within the established budget guidelines not on decisions on who should be hired or fired.
You stated that other districts embrace a much more public process. Yes they do, unfortunately — have you heard of micromanagement?