Frightened by your own board.
It certainly appears that threats work. But, to be threatened by your own elected officials and paid bureaucrats. Well ...
A little push and the board wouldn't have cut your busing -- it had no reason to cut that or any program. In your hearts, you knew it. Yet, you cowed under pressure of your own elected officials. Democracy at work, I assume.
Really, 10 parents in the boardroom are enough for any board to question its decisions. Make that 50 parents, and busing would have stayed, along with everything else.
Keep in mind that accountability is a two-way street. The community must be willing to stare down the board and administration every now and again. Otherwise, in their own minds, the board and administration grow more and more conceited. Olentangy saw that in the 90's, and I expect that we will see it again.
So, as the board and superintendent stared, the parents blinked. The result is this: Parents gave the board and superintendent a mandate to do whatever they choose. Whether the next issue is likely high salary increases, perverse books, or something else -- parents, do not complain. Your blink allowed whatever power you once held to pass from community to board and superintendent.
Transportation for control -- a Faustian bargain of sorts.
It was as simple as that.