S & P Rating Service Conducted for PTISD
Credit analysts Russell Brice and Apple Lo, from Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services visited Pine Tree Independent School District yesterday for the purpose of evaluating the Districts credit rating. Ratings are provided by organizations such as Standard & Poor’s, which specialize in evaluating credit risk, for the purpose of rating the underlying financial risk of the district for investors.
Chief Financial Officer, Judy Downing with Acting Superintendent James Skeeler described and answered questions about the current state of Pine Tree’s financial operating procedures and policy. ”We expect the need for competitive salaries and other educational services to continue to inform Pine Tree ISD’s budget, but we also expect that the board and district management will remain committed to maintaining operating reserves consistent with best practices,” Downing said.
With assistance from Tony Hollins, Director of Facility Services and Jeff Hahne, Director of Technology, Skeeler provided an overview of the recent Bond Referendum voted for approval by Pine Tree citizens on May 14th.
According to Financial Advisor, Ed Moore, Senior Vice President of Southwest Securities, “Before this latest review, the district was able to tap credit markets with a “AAA” rating provided by a state debt guarantee program.” The rating provided from this review will be S&P’s assessment of PTISD’s ability to repay the bonds exclusive of the Permanent School Fund (PSF) guarantee. Almost all Texas school bonds receive the AAA rating because of the PSF, but what will set each district apart is its underlying rating, he explained.
According to S & P’s web page<http://www.standardandpoors.com/ratings/en/us/>, rated entities in each industry group are rated with a designated set of criteria. Ratings are based on analysis performed by experienced professionals who evaluate and interpret information from a multitude of sources; credit ratings provide a detailed opinion about a public sector entity’s creditworthiness. Credit ratings are forward-looking opinions about credit risk. Standard & Poor’s credit ratings express the agency’s opinion about the ability and willingness of an issuer, such as a corporation or state or city government, to meet its financial obligations in full and on time.
Following the discussion with school district administration, three board members, and financial advisors, Jack Davis, Director of Transportation provided a driving tour around the district stopping at key locations such as the future site of the new Athletic Complex off of Loop 281 at Enterprise Road.
John Martin, Senior Vice President of Southwest Securities explained that S & P would provide a summary report regarding the credit rating for Pine Tree ISD in July, which the School Board will review in open meeting. The report will also be available on the District web page.