Clarkston Community Schools announced that Moody’s Investors Service upgraded the district’s $19.9 Million 2015 Refunding Bonds (General Obligation – Unlimited Tax) to an A1 underlying rating and Aa2 enhanced rating. An A1 underlying rating on the district’s outstanding general obligation (GO) debt was reaffirmed, and Moody’s removed its “negative outlook.”
Moody’s noted multiple strengths leading to the assigned rating, including recent improvement to the district’s financial operations resulting from significant expenditure reductions, above average socioeconomic indicators and a sizable recovering tax base.
“Moody’s upgrade to Clarkston Community Schools’ rating reflects the health of our district and the hard work that has gone into keeping the schools financially sound even in a continually challenging environment for education,” said Rod Rock, Ed.D., superintendent of Clarkston Community Schools. “With a high rating, we are better equipped to borrow at better rates to maintain our vigorous standards for student learning. Our rating proves we are a good investment for bond buyers, as well as parents and students.”
Moody’s summarized its ratings rationale in its report:
The A1 underlying rating reflects the district’s sizable tax base and affluent demographic profile; limited reserves; maintenance of some revenue and expenditure flexibility despite the sectors weak institutional framework; and elevated debt burden. Removal of the negative outlook is based on recent improvement to the district’s financial operations that is expected to stabilize the district’s reserves. Also incorporated is recent recovery in the tax base, that will likely reduce the district’s debt burden going forward despite ongoing borrowing from the state School Bond Loan Revolving Fund (SLRF) to support debt service.
The Aa2 enhanced rating is based on the SBQLP [School Bond Qualification and Long Program] programmatic rating of Aa2, which reflects sound program mechanics and the strength of the state’s GO credit.
Moody’s Investors Service is a leading provider of credit ratings, research and risk analysis. The firm’s ratings and analysis track debt covering more than 115 countries, 11,000 corporate issuers, 21,000 public finance issuers and 76,000 structured finance obligations.
ABOUT CLARKSTON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS
Formed in 1952, Clarkston Community Schools is a highly regarded school district with an enrollment of 8,000 students, encompassing seven elementary schools, one middle school, one junior high and one high school. The district offers a rigorous curriculum, including advanced studies and Advanced Placement programs. The Clarkston High School facility includes state-of-the-art technology, a Performing Arts Center, Olympic-size pool and top-notch athletic facilities. In 2006, the district opened a brand new Early Childhood Center. For more information, visit www.clarkston.k12.mi.us.