Paying an outside expert who can dispassionately come up with a plan to redraw boundary lines to balance enrollment and ease overcrowding in Shenandoah County schools is absolutely the right thing to do.

The Board of Supervisors voted 4-2 on Tuesday to approve the School Board’s request for $135,000 for two studies — one for the boundary lines and the other for how best to use school facilities.

Now the process to help the county’s schools can move forward. But you can count on some tears being shed along the way. Moving children from one school to another is an emotional journey, and realignment meetings, we expect, will be packed with parents who may be very unhappy with the changes.

Supervisor John R. “Dick” Neese said it best during Tuesday’s meeting when he said the studies must be made by an outside professional who has “unbiased opinions and no ties to the community so you can get a fair evaluation of the facilities and not have personalities become involved in it.”