Students exit Gardner Elementary after school one day last year. Standard & Poor’s recently upgraded the district’s credit rating. File photo

Students exit Gardner Elementary after school one day last year. Standard & Poor’s recently upgraded the district’s credit rating. File photo

Standard & Poor’s Rating Services upgraded USD 231’s long-term bond rating from an “A+” to an “AA-” on March 2.
The ratings upgrade was due to the district’s improved cash position, a summary analysis from Standards & Poor said. The analysis also cited likely assessed valuation growth, additional student enrollment, healthy fund balances, and prudent management.
USD 231 board of education members approved a bond refunding that the district’s financial advisor estimated will save the district approximately $1 million in debt service payments.
“The school board and staff should be commended for the actions they took to receive the rating upgrade,” David Arteberry, a financial consultant for the Gardner Edgerton School District. “Standard & Poor’s recognizes that the district’s financial position has significantly improved over the last few years despite all of the difficulties with funding schools in Kansas. This is great news and will help to keep interest rates low on the district’s future bond projects.”
Superintendent Pam Stranathan said she is extremely pleased with Standard & Poor’s report and upgrade.
“As a district, we work very hard to be fiscally responsible for the benefit of our students and the taxpayers of our communities,” she said in a press release. “The ratings upgrade positions the district very well to secure low-interest rates on future projects and save taxpayers significant dollars.”