310.450.8338, ext. 221 19 OCT 2007
SMMUSD Receives Increased Bond Rating from Aa3 to Aa2
After a successful meeting in San Francisco regarding the sale of the district’s first series of Measure “BB” bonds, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District has received an increased bond rating from an already high Aa3 to an Aa2.
In mid-September, Superintendent Dianne Talarico, Board of Education President Kathy Wisnicki, Deputy Superintendent Tim Walker, and Interim CFO Steve Hodgson traveled to San Francisco to meet with Moodys Investors Service, one of the premiere bond rating agencies in the nation. Following the meeting, and after conducting their own due diligence, Moodys elected to raise the district’s rating from an Aa3 to an Aa2, placing the district in the ranks of other impressive districts that hold the coveted Aa2 rating, such as the Beverly Hill USD, Newport-Mesa USD, and Palo Alto USD.
“It is very unusual for a school district to improve on its bond rating,” said Superintendent Talarico. “It is much more common for districts to have to fight to keep their rating from falling.”
Moodys cited the following reasons for raising SMMUSD’s bond rating:
· The district’s dramatically improved finances
· The fact that SMMUSD’s COP dept is no longer being paid out of the district’s general fund
· The strong tax base of the communities of Santa Monica and Malibu
· The uncommonly strong community support
“I take this as a strong affirmation of the strength of our Malibu and Santa Monica volunteer community,” stated PTA Council President Rebecca Kennerly. “We know that parent and community involvement improves not only the educational experience of our students, but enhances our communities as a whole. It is extremely gratifying to see a financial rating service put a number to all of that extraordinary effort.”
This upgrade will save the district’s taxpayers over the life of this first series of bonds, and additional savings on future bond sales to follow.
Measure “BB” is a $268 million construction bond affirmed by the voters in November 2006, with focus on improving the health, safety, and technology of Santa Monica and Malibu schools. Construction is anticipated to commence in 2008-2009.
SANTA MONICA-MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
1651 16TH Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404
ph: 310.450.8338; fax: 310.581.1138