District retains top bond rating

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The Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District found out earlier this year that it will maintain its Aaa bond rating from Moody's Investor Service, Director of Business Services Lori Ames said.

MCPASD is one of only a handful of school districts out of more than 400 in the state to have an Aaa rating.

In today's market, there is an average of a 5 basis point spread between each rating category (Aaa, Aa1, Aa2, Aa3).  The last time Moody’s evaluated the District’s bond rating was in the spring of 2014.

Some of the District's strengths include a favorable location within the Madison metro region, strong enrollment growth and strong financial operations supported by healthy reserves, the Moody's report stated. Credit challenges include the state-imposed revenue-raising limitations and current moderate leverage may increase given capital needs and recent growth in pension liabilities.

Moody's also noted the District's tax base has increased by 12.7 percent since 2011, increasing to $6.6 billion in 2016 as residential and commercial development has grown. The average and median family income is 157.7 percent of national levels and unemployment in Dane County as of November 2016 is nearly a full percentage point less than the state average of 3.6 percent and well below the national rate of 4.4 percent.

District enrollment has also increased on average by 2.4 percent annually over the past five years.

The District closed the 2015-16 fiscal year with an operating fund balance of $19.9 million or 24.5 percent of operating revenues.

The full Moody’s Investors Service Rating Update Report can be found on the District’s website on the Budget Information page.