DCSD will obtain at least $134 million from general obligation funds that will be used to initiate technology and facilities projects identified in e-ESPLOST V, a ballot measure overwhelmingly approved by DeKalb County voters by a 71 percent margin in 2016. Those bonds will be offered in early February and be repaid with e-SPLOST revenues to be collected starting in July 2017.
This advance financing comes on the heels of upgrades to the DCSD’s financial ratings by experts at Moody’s Investor’s Service and Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings. Because of these upgrades, the district will be able to obtain financing through the bonds at a reduced interest rate.
“The ability to fund these projects early is a result of our team acting as good stewards of resources provided by this community,” said Superintendent Dr. R. Stephen Green. “The families of DeKalb County believe in our vision, and the finance ratings firms believe in our balance sheet. We remain committed to excellence and building the best public school system for our taxpayers.”
Moody’s Investor’s Service has upgraded DCSD from “A1” to “Aa3,” based on the district’s large and diverse tax base, its positive trend of maintaining cash reserves and the “manageable” amount of debt on the district’s ledger.
Meanwhile, Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings assigned its “AA” rating, its second highest level, to that same bond package. The rating was based on the strong tax base in DeKalb County, strong reserves that constitute nearly 12 percent of the district’s budget, and low debt.
Without this financing, DeKalb schools would have likely waited five additional months before starting the latest round of e-SPLOST projects.