Moody’s Investors Service has assigned an Aa3 rating to the DeKalb County School District’s $154.8 million General Obligation Unlimited Tax Bonds.
Moody’s followed its standard protocol to place an organization’s credit rating under review following that organization’s failure to submit a completed audit 18 months after the fiscal year end. DCSD’s credit rating was withdrawn in March 2020 due to insufficient information. The District’s FY 2018 and FY 2019 audits, delayed because of administrative issues, were released in October 2020. The audit reports rendered a clean, unmodified opinion on the District’s financial activities.
“This is the first step in the DeKalb County School District moving onward and upward,” Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris said. “We are thrilled that the district has a positive credit rating and we appreciate the dedication and efforts taken by staff to make this happen.”
The change in March 2020 did not impact DCSD’s financial operations or any bonds that have been issued by the District. In addition, DCSD’s rating from Standard & Poor’s was not affected. However, District administration is committed to long-term financial forecasting and monthly monitoring to ensure revenues and expenditures are in line with budgetary expectations.
“We are pleased that Moody’s has restored our credit rating and that the rating assigned demonstrates confidence in the District’s financial management and oversight,” said DeKalb County Board of Education Chair Marshall Orson. “The Board and Administration are committed to maintaining and continuing to improve the fiscal integrity of the District.”
The District maintains a formal policy to retain a fund balance minimum of five to seven percent and is expected to move towards zero-based budgeting in fiscal 2022 to ensure budgetary balance.