Lincoln-Way School District 210 announced that Moody’s Investors Service upgraded its bond rating due to the district’s increased reserves and liquidity.
The financial services company raised the rating from Baa3 to Ba1, which the district called a “milestone” in a news release.
“Credit goes to the board of education for their governance and oversight during the financial recovery,”
Lincoln-Way 210 Superintendent Scott Tingley said. “Recognition should also be given to past board members who made the difficult decision to move the district in a beneficial direction.
This ratings improvement serves as another valuable independent assessment of the district’s financial improvements.”
The district had operating surpluses of just over $5 million in fiscal 2017,
$8 million in fiscal 2018 and slightly more than $6 million for the fiscal year that ended June 30.
Overall, the district will have replenished its fund balances by a little more than $19 million over a three-year period, according to the release.
Moving forward, the district said its board will continue to consider solutions to its long-term debt structure. The increase in the bond rating to investment grade provides the district with better alternatives to restructure.
In 2018, Moody’s upgraded the district’s bond rating from “negative” to “stable,” taking into account its high debt burden. The district has spent far more than it took in over the years, leading to multimillion-dollar deficits, which eventually led to the closing of Lincoln-Way North High School in 2015.
The district’s municipal adviser, PMA, will be in attendance at the
Aug. 29 board meeting to present alternatives for the members to review.