Campbell Union High School District’s (CUHSD) sound financial practices have prompted Moody's Investor Service to assign the district a AA+ grade.
This is the second best rating that an organization or country can receive to demonstrate its credit worthiness.
Less than 10% of school districts in California have received such a score.
The upgrade from AA (Aa2) to AA+ (Aa1) bodes well for the district as it contemplates a general obligation bond measure for 2016 and seeks to revamp its antiquated heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, which resulted in the closure of several schools last fall.
“Providing an outstanding and well-rounded education for Campbell high school students is our top priority,” said Acting Superintendent Tanya Krause. “Upgrading our heating and air conditioning systems will help to ensure that our students have everything they need to focus on their learning.”
According to CUHSD’s Chief Business Officer Brett McFadden, many high school classrooms lack air conditioning.
“We’re pleased that the rating agencies recognized our sound financial practices and are willing to help us finance essential improvements that will provide our students with a safe, modern learning environment,” said McFadden. “The new rating represents confidence in our ability to meet our financial commitments and will allow us to save money on interest payments.”
To improve its HVAC facilities, McFadden said the district will seek short-term financing through certificates of participation (COP), while maintaining financial reserves of 15% to 20% of expenditures.
The district’s credit rating has risen steadily over the past two years thanks to good financial decisions and strong fiscal reserves.
A network of solar arrays, for example, has allowed CUHSD to save about $1 million a year on electricity, which will help defray the costs of running new air conditioning and heating systems.