District’s credit rating remains stable, provides positive outlook for financing of new facility
Monday, Dec. 8, 2019 — Standard & Poor’s (S & P) Financial Service recently affirmed its AA- underlying and A+ unenhanced rating to South St. Paul Public Schools (SSPPS) for the district’s financing to secure the purchase and renovation of the River Heights Professional Building. The certificates of participation (COPs) will be included in the district’s lease levy, which supports facilities use and maintenance for educational purposes. The positive credit rating keeps South St. Paul Public Schools in the top third of all Minnesota school districts rated by S & P. In its report, S & P cited the district’s support of residents, strong financial reserves, and conservative budgeting practices as key credit strengths.
The stable credit rating will help SSPPS manage the cost of purchasing and renovating the new facility by allowing the district to obtain lower interest rates when it borrows money, as in the case of the lease payments it will make for the River Heights building purchase.
“We are very pleased with the S & P report,” said Aaron Bushberger, director of finance. “The rating reflects our sound financial management that occurs collaboratively with many district partners, as well as the ongoing support of our community.”
The S & P credit analysis report stated that the AA- underlying rating reflects the district’s commitment to sound budgeting practices and stable financial operations. S & P noted that given the affordability and likelihood of the lease payment, as reflected in the appropriation rating and the district's general creditworthiness, the outlook is stable for the district to proceed with the issuing of certificates of purchase as part of its building lease payment plan. Specifically, the credit report said that the lease features and terms were “standard with no unusual risks regarding timely payment of debt” and the outlook was “stable for all ratings.”