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Ferndale School District keeps high credit rating – taxpayers to benefit

Ferndale School District sign outside the administration building on Vista Drive (October 22, 2016). Photo: Whatcom News

FERNDALE, Wash. — The Ferndale School District received rare good news as they prepare to sell the second batch of bonds toward replacing the high school, renovating the high school performing arts center and conduct maintenance and make security improvements district-wide. Moody’s Investors Service affirmed their current Aa2 rating. “Concurrently we assigned Aa2 underlying ratings to the district’s $28.6 million Unlimited Tax General Obligation Bonds, 2020,” Moody’s reported in their press release.

Aa2 is the third highest credit rating Moody’s assigns bond issues and puts the school district in a financially positive position for selling bonds. Taxpayers ultimately benefit because higher ratings typically translates into paying back the bonds at lower interest rates which, in turn, results in lower property taxes.

When we went through this process last June (2019), prior to our first bond sale, our credit rating was upgraded from Aa3 to Aa2, something that doesn’t happen very often. In fact, our financial consultant from DA Davidson told us we “are in rare company being upgraded.” With the failure of the levy, the use of our reserve funds to balance our budget, the closure of Intalco, and the general state of Washington’s economy, we went into the process this year anticipating our credit rating might be downgraded.Ferndale School District Superintendent Linda Quinn (July 31, 2020)

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