Rowland Unified School District

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Standard & Poor's Credit Agency Upgrades Rowland Unified School District's Credit Rating

Standard & Poor’s Credit Agency Upgrades Rowland Unified School District’s Credit Rating

 

ROWLAND HEIGHTS, CA—OCTOBER 5, 2009—The Rowland Unified School District joined a select group of California school districts last week when Standard & Poor’s, the financial industry’s independent source of credit risk evaluation, raised the District’s credit rating to AA-.  Standard & Poor’s based its upgraded status for Rowland Unified on the District’s strong financial position and management.  The District has been able to accomplish this goal despite the state’s fiscal crisis.

 

“The District’s upgraded credit rating will save taxpayers millions of dollars over many years,” said Rowland Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Maria Ott.  “This is great news in light of the challenges the District faces with drastic state funding cutbacks and shortages.”  Ott continued, “I commend the Board of Education for stable and fiscally sound decision-making that was clearly evident during the rating process.”

 

The rating upgrade provides investors with increased assurances of the District’s fiscal stability, while saving taxpayers payment costs when the District issues voter-approved general obligation bonds.  Rowland Unified previously was given a credit rating of A+ from Standard & Poor’s.  Also, Moody’s Investor Service recently reaffirmed Rowland Unified School District’s A1 credit rating it had assigned the District after an upgrade in 2006.

 

The credit upgrade places Rowland Unified in an elite group of Los Angeles County school districts relating to investor confidence.  “Rowland Unified is among a rare few public school districts in Los Angeles County, and the State, receiving an upgraded credit rating,” indicated Lynn Paquin, Senior Vice President of George K. Baum & Company, a privately-owned investment bank which has partnered with the District since 1999.

 

Since 2000, voters in the Rowland Unified School District have approved two general obligation bond measures (Measure R)  totaling $188 million dedicated to new school facility construction, modernization, and upgrades.  The District has aggressively pursued state bond matching funds, having received in excess of $34 million to date and is in the process of applying for an additional $14 million.

                                                                                                                                 

A Citizen’s Oversight Committee reviews construction projects and expenditures to ensure taxpayer safeguards.  The most recent independent audit of bond Measure R expenditures by the firm Vincente Lloyd & Stutzman, LLP concluded that, “... the District had properly accounted for the expenditure of funds in the Bond Building Fund and that such expenditures were made for authorized bond projects.”  As promised to voters, no bond funds were spent on administrator salaries.

 

Construction and modernization projects include:  modernized classrooms, electrical, plumbing and energy modernization at all campuses; renovations and repairs to outdated restrooms; new construction and federally-mandated upgrades to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

 

The Rowland Unified School District is proud to serve 16,000  students at 23 elementary and secondary schools in the communities of Rowland Heights, Walnut, La Puente, City of Industry, and West Covina. More than 5,000 adults (16+) are also served by the Rowland Adult and Community Education School. For more information about Rowland Unified, call (626) 965-2541 or visit www.RowlandSchools.org. 

 

 

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