Tahoe Truckee Unified School District awarded credit rating upgrade | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Truckee Unified School District awarded credit rating upgrade

TRUCKEE, Calif. andamp;#8212; Tahoe Truckee Unified School District was recently awarded with a credit rating upgrade on both its outstanding voter approved general obligation bonds and non-voter approved certificates of participation. According to Standard andamp; Poorandamp;#8217;s Credit Rating Agency (Sandamp;P) this rare two-notch credit rating upgrade makes Tahoe Truckee the highest rated school district by Sandamp;P in Placer County. The credit rating on the general obligation bonds was upgraded to andamp;#8220;AAandamp;#8221; from andamp;#8220;A+.andamp;#8221; The credit rating on the certificates of participation was upgraded to andamp;#8220;AA-andamp;#8220; from andamp;#8220;A.andamp;#8221; Credit ratings represent an independent appraisal of a bond issuerandamp;#8217;s creditworthiness Additionally, Sandamp;P upgraded the school districtandamp;#8217;s Financial Management Assessment (FMA) from andamp;#8220;standardandamp;#8221; to andamp;#8220;good.andamp;#8221; The FMA evaluates TTUSDandamp;#8217;s financial management and long-term financial planning practices. TTUSD School Board President Kristy Olk was pleased by the districtandamp;#8217;s good grades.andamp;#8220;The staff has done a great job in meeting the boardandamp;#8217;s desire for frequent and understandable communication on the districtandamp;#8217;s finances,andamp;#8221; Olk said. andamp;#8220;Clear public communication has helped the board in its decision making and has proven instrumental in achieving the credit rating upgrades.andamp;#8221;Sandamp;P provides credit ratings to nearly every school district that issues debt for public facilities. At a time when most school districts are reducing programs and depleting needed reserves, the district continues to offer effective academic programs and diverse extra-curricular activities, while maintaining reserves critical to school funding. andamp;#8220;The districtandamp;#8217;s public support for an on-going parcel tax has been crucial to maintaining top notch programs,andamp;#8221; said TTUSD Superintendent Steve Jennings. andamp;#8220;Our community has been truly wonderful in their support of both the parcel tax and voter approved bonds for facilities. The community support has allowed the district to continue to offer rich programming when most districts are cutting all but the basics.andamp;#8221;The credit rating process was initiated by the TTUSDandamp;#8217;s plan to refinance its 1998 General Obligation Bonds, which were approved by the voters in 1993. andamp;#8220;Like many homeowners, TTUSD monitors its outstanding debt and noticed that due to currently low interest rates, the district may be able to save taxpayers money by lowering the districtandamp;#8217;s debt service without extending the life of the bonds,andamp;#8221; said Steve Dickinson, assistant superintendent of finance for the school district. Dickinson added that taxpayers should save more money than anticipated due to the credit rating upgrade since borrowing costs are a function of not only market conditions but also credit ratings. All savings achieved by the refinancing will be used to lower property taxes. TTUSD plans to complete the refinancing by the end of the month.For more information on school district happenings, visit http://www.ttusd.org.andamp;#8212; Submitted to the Sun via e-mail to aedgett@sierrasun.com

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