School district’s credit rating remains solid

Online Staff Report

Rockford Public School District 205 (RPS 205) has maintained its excellent credit rating with Standard & Poor’s, putting RPS 205 in the same credit category with the best school districts in Illinois.

District leaders received the news last week that S&P would renew the district’s AA- rating.

Local revenue for RPS 205 has been flat for four years, and the state is still facing difficult economic times,” said RPS 205 Superintendent Ehren Jarrett. “But The S&P saw we have strong financial fundamentals to maintain our rating, which is a big win for Rockford and its taxpayers.”

The S&P credit rating is the cornerstone for determining the interest rates on the upcoming bond sale. The higher the credit rating, the lower the interest rate on the bond. This credit rating is estimated to save taxpayers more than $400,000 in interest expense compared to the next lowest rating category.

The rating service increased the district’s credit rating from A+ to AA- two years ago.

According to S&P, the outlook for the district is stable. The rating report noted the district’s strong financial performance and very strong reserves; diverse economy centered on Rockford’s health care and manufacturing sectors; and good financial management policies and practices.

Bonds the school board approved selling earlier this month are the last of the voter-approved bonds from the $139 million bond referendum in 2012. The district will use bond proceeds for various capital improvements as part of a 10-year, $250 million capital plan.

Posted Jan. 28, 2015

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