Credit rating agencies boost Cherokee schools


Recent upgrades to the credit rating of the Cherokee County School District should save taxpayers money on insurance and borrowing costs, district officials say. The district’s credit rating was raised by Moody’s Investors Service from Aa3 to Aa2, and by Standard & Poor’s from AA- Stable to AA- Positive.

Moody’s cited the district’s improved financial position resulting from strong revenue performance, enhanced expenditure controls and replenished reserves, and improved revenue due to an expanding tax base as the local and state economy recovers. It noted the district’s use of SPLOST proceeds to retire bond debt.

S&P said its rating reflected “improved financial performance” and an increasing likelihood of the district achieving a AAA rating within the next two years if funding reserves continue at current levels or increase. It also cited the district’s operating performance, strong available fund balance and moderate overall debt coupled with local economic and tax base growth.

The district’s goal is to acquire the top AAA rating from both agencies, “which is a challenge, as factors such as state funding and the local economy are considered, but we’re up to the challenge,” said Superintendent of Schools Brian V. Hightower.



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