WASHINGTON — Issuance of qualified school construction bonds skyrocketed in the first half of 2010, primarily because of a new law permitting the debt to be sold as direct-pay bonds similar to Build America Bonds, market participants say.

All told, 167 issues of QSCBs totaling $2.53 billion were sold in the first half of 2010 — a 2,283% increase from the first half of 2009, when just three issues worth $106.1 million of the bonds were sold, according to Thomson Reuters.

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