Dear Editor,
My name is Richard Price, a teacher with the Johnson County School system since 2006 and Principal/Teacher of Shady Valley Elementary School for ten years.
With this as a reference I’d like to make some comments concerning the impending decision coming up at the next school board meeting.
During my time at Shady Valley Elementary each year it became more and more obvious that something needed to be done to maintain the viability of the school; maturing of the families and fewer young families moving in was a real problem.
School population numbers steadily decreased. It should have been obvious to the citizens of the valley and the county.
A member of the school board indicated to the citizens of the valley recently that if they could come up with a plan to increase the school population he would change his vote to keep it open; whose responsibility is this? Who should be working to keep jobs and families in Johnson County?
The Economic Development element of the county has a responsibility to consider the need, even if the “powers that be” do not see this as a need.
In 2015 I was working with SkyLine and two call centers to move an operation to the Valley. This could have provided 200 plus jobs and kept the housing in the Valley up, not like it is today with over two dozen homes vacant. In order for the school to be viable it must have more students.
Again, who should be doing this?
I urge the school board to table item 6 on the agenda for this coming Thursday. I further ask that the Mayor, along with other county resources, begin working with the citizens of the Valley to assist them in the development of a plan. This plan would be looking at avenues to make the Valley more viable economically and to encourage families to want to live in a truly beautiful part of the world.
The county owes this to the Valley. If you Google “howNOT close a community school” you would get the situation we find ourselves in today. Then Google “how to properly close a community school” and there are numerous options on how to carry this out.

E. Richard Price