District Hails Credit Agencies’ High Ratings For Schools
By Space Coast Daily // April 2, 2013
Will Result In Interest Charge Savings
BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA – Brevard Public Schools has successfully sustained its high credit ratings with both Moody’s and Fitch rating agencies, serving as a critical element in the refunding of some old Certificates of Participation, as approved by the Brevard County School Board.
“This is great news. Failure to maintain these ratings could have cost the District approximately $1 million in higher interest charges,” said Brevard Schools superintendent Dr. Brian T. Binggeli.
Maintaining this high rating will result in a district gain of about $4 million.
Both rating agencies cited the district’s responsible budget management as a critical strength.
Under the heading “Prudent Management Practices,” Fitch noted the following: “Financial management is strong as evidenced by historically prudent management of reserves despite volatility in state funding and, more recently, by the district’s immediate corrective action plan to solve a projected $30.7 million budget gap for fiscal 2014.”
Moody’s noted “The district has performed well despite the loss of $79.3 million in General Fund revenues between fiscal 2008 and 2013 related to state cuts and a weakened economy, primarily as a result of timely budget adjustments and extension of the .25 mills critical millage.”
For now, both agencies sustained BPS’ high financial-rating, however they warned that the loss of the critical needs quarter mill and the significant decline in capital revenue threatened the economic stability of the district.
Moody’s specifically cited, “declining capital funds, and the inability to secure voter approval for capital sales tax” as a continued challenge to the district.