For years, school enrollments in Nova Scotia have plummeted while school board budgets rose faster than inflation. Last winter, the Dexter Government asked boards to think about ways to operate with less. The boards and their colleagues in arms, the Nova Scotia Teachers' Union, reacted with a Kill the Friendly Giant strategy. In the end, the government imposed modest cuts, and the boards will continue to operate as they have for decades. It was a missed opportunity for reform. Well, before the notion of school reform goes dormant for another five years, here are two ways school boards could work better for...

Several readers have questioned, taken issue with, and even canceled subscriptions (!) over my criticism of overly cautious school closures, particularly my suggestion that union sympathies may play a role in unwarranted snow days.
Since when are school administrators (who make decisions about snow days) part of the teachers' union? [TB]
Snow days are decided upon by the School Board. The teachers and their union have nothing to do with it. Teachers have to show up on snow days to babysit any kids dropped off by parents. The fact that you are so silly as to blame Unions—good heavens how silly!—I have now figured you out: Another Conservative who will blame the victims for all the country's ills. [AMcG]
At least in HRSB, the school officials who make the call are school board Superintendents - not unionized, but management. [AB]
Another possible explanation is the requirement to please big, risk-averse insurance companies. [BW]
OK, so now I've done what I should have done before posting, checked with Peter McLaughlin, my ex-Daily News colleague who now speaks for the Nova Scotia Department of Education. Turns out the situation is at once more complicated than I suggested, and less clearcut than my interlocutors believe. Full explanation after the jump.