School Bonds Receive Top Rating

Standard & Poor’s affirms a rating of “AAA” for Laguna Beach Unified School District’s general obligation bonds, the district said in a statement this week.

The rating agency says the classification reflects strong income, wealth indicators and the district’s “basic-aid” status, relying on property tax revenue rather than state financing for the bulk of its budget. During the recession, the state lost its AAA rating.

High quality bonds yield savings to the school district and taxpayers through lower interest costs, said Asst. Supt. of Business Services Dean West, noting that the district was prudent to seek refinancing of its bond debt during a low interest rate period. The district’s two bond issues of $29.5 million and $9.7 million were refinanced in 2010 and 2012, respectively, West said. The larger amount that financed improvements on all four campuses was initially sold to investors between 2001 and 2003, he said.

“Standard & Poor’s was very clear about their rationale for the ‘AAA’ rating,” West said. “I am pleased to see the recognition of the Laguna Beach Unified School District’s good financial management practices, as well as the note on the financial strength of the community and school district.”


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