Schools reap benefits of credit rating

Staff Writer

The outstanding credit rating of Mustang Public Schools – a rarity among Oklahoma school districts – paid off Tuesday.
The board of education approved a $10.9 bond package at a 2.3 percent interest rate and a $920,000 bond package at 3.1 percent.
The rates were this low because Standard and Poor’s raised its bond rating one notch – from AA- to AA.
That improved the interest rate on the bonds between .08 and .1 percent, estimated the school district’s financial adviser, Zack Robinson of BOK Financial Securities.
The district’s strong financial practices, under the direction of Chief Financial Officer Nancy McKay, led to the better bond rating, Robinson said.
Those practices include keeping a strong reserve of funds.
“It’s a tribute to how hard your team works for the benefit of taxpayers,” he said.
The bonds are financing projects under an $180 million bond issue that voters approved in February 2017 and a $97 million bond issues approved in 2012.
The next project to be funded is a new middle school.
The groundbreaking for that school is planned for May 29.
Board President Chad Fulton asked what the district could do you to improve its bond rating.
“Only two districts in state are higher, and most are below you,” Robinson said. “There’s not a long way to go. It would take a number of years to do better.”

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