The credit rating of Berkeley Unified School District was upgraded two levels by Standard and Poor’s (S&P) from AA- to AA+ based on tax base growth and operating performance, and by Fitch Ratings who gave a AAA rating based on tax base growth and an AA rating for operating performance. Deputy Superintendent Javetta Cleveland explains that “The upgrade from AA- to AA+ and AAA is significant, and speaks to the hard work throughout our organization in the management and oversight of our resources, and the stable investment of Berkeley taxpayers who continue to be so supportive of Berkeley public schools.”
The District is the process of refinancing some of its general obligation bonds, and this upgrade will lower interest cost and increase the amount of savings to the taxpayers of Berkeley.
Berkeley Unified School District is one of very few districts in the state with AAA and AA+ ratings.
BUSD receives an upgraded bond and credit rating of AA+ from S&P and new bond rating of AAA from Fitch
Berkeley, CA – The Berkeley Unified School District’s Board meeting began tonight on a high note when Superintendent Donald Evans announced an upgrade of two levels in the District’s bond and credit rating by Standard and Poor’s (S&P), from AA- to AA+ and a new bond rating of AAA from Fitch Ratings.
“We approached S&P and Fitch with a strong presentation with the hopes of being upgraded, and I must say I was pleased when we heard back from S&P on Friday and Fitch on Monday,” said Deputy Superintendent Javetta Cleveland. “The shift from AA- to AA+ and the AAA are significant, and speak to the hard work in our organization’s management and oversight of our resources, the tax base growth, and the generosity of Berkeley taxpayers, who continue to be so supportive of Berkeley public schools.”
“The ratings drive the interest that we pay, and therefore, reduces the tax rate for Berkeley taxpayers for bonds sold for facility modernization projects“, stated Board President Beatriz Leyva-Cutler. “This is good for Berkeley.” In the initial notification of the upgrade, Jon Armstrong, Vice President of KNN Public Finance wrote, “The Fitch rating of AAA is based on the tax base and the tax levy mechanism and S&P’s “AA+” rating is S&P’s view of the fiscal operations and tax base together”. Superintendent Evans reflected that “Berkeley is one of the few Districts in the State with AAA bond and AA+ credit ratings.”