Evanston/Skokie District 65 last week received an upgraded bond rating from Moody’s Investors Services.
The move boosts the district’s rating from Aa3 to Aa2, the second-highest rating available.
This long-term investment high grade debt rating brought immediate positive benefits to the District in its sale of $10 Million of General Obligation Limited Tax School Bonds.
Moody’s said it expects the district’s prudent management to maintain stable financial operations going forward.
“This is gratifying” said Superintendent Hardy Murphy. “Our fiscal management efforts supported by our Board of Education are paying off. The upgraded bond rating gave us better leverage in Monday’s $10 Million bond sale.”
A favorable bid bearing interest at 3.2153% was received and approved by the Board of Education on Monday, April 21.
This lower than original estimate provides a slight reduction in the District’s projected bond and interest tax to be levied to local property owners.
Similar to the District’s previous bond rating upgrade in 2006, Moody’s Investors Service offered an opinion to explain the upgraded bond rating. Among reasons are the District 65’s improved financial operations, manageable debt burden, prompt repayment of debt, and the District’s demonstration of budgetary controls and expenditure restraint, and a healthy reserve balance in the Working Cash Fund.
Following shortfalls in 2001 and 2002 the District restored structural balance. A Long Range Financial Management Plan and a five-year strategic management plan were all developed over the ensuring year to identify areas of improvement.
A multi-year trend of improved student achievement as well as operating surpluses are the result of the District’s implementation of these plans as well as targeted annual goals in these important areas that provide stability for the school community.
The District is presently planning for its future five-year strategic plan where Superintendent Murphy and the Board of Education expect to build the roadmap to identify district priorities, including future financial health.