Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said it raised its underlying rating (SPUR) and school issuer credit rating (ICR) on Beaver Area School District, Pa.'s general obligation bonds to A-plus from A.

At the same time, Standard & Poor's assigned its A-plus long-term rating and A-plus school ICR to the district's series 2012 GO bonds.

"We raised the rating to reflect our assessment of the district's improving financial position, while managing its ongoing expenditure challenges through the most recent recessionary period," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Danielle Leonardis. "The stable outlook reflects our expectation that the district will be able to maintain its stable financial position and strong reserve levels, which we believe provides stability to the rating," said Leonardis.

The rating and stable outlook reflects Standard & Poor's opinion of the district's: primarily residential nature with a limited manufacturing-based local economy that has access to the greater Pittsburgh metro area employment base; modest, yet consistent growth in a very diverse tax base with adequate market value per capita; stable financial position with improving reserve levels that are expected to remain stable for the next one to two years despite modest, near-term projected drawdowns; and moderate to moderately high debt burden coupled with slightly below average amortization, yet limited future capital needs.

The district's full faith and credit pledge and participation in the Pennsylvania State Aid Intercept program secures the bonds. Beaver Area School District has a population of 14,578 and encompasses 21 square miles in Beaver County, Pa. (A/stable).

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