NEW YORK - Moody's Investors Service said it has upgraded to A1 from A2 the rating on Big Lake Independent School District, Minn.'s outstanding general obligation unlimited tax debt.

Concurrently, Moody's has assigned the A1 underlying rating, as well as a Aa2 enhanced rating with negative outlook, to the district's $10.0 million general obligation refunding bonds, Series 2012B. Post-sale, the district will have $47.6 million of GOULT debt outstanding.

The bonds are secured by the district's general obligation unlimited tax pledge and proceeds will refund the district's outstanding 1995 capital loan from the state of Minnesota (rated Aa1 with negative outlook) Maximum Effort School Loan Fund for expected savings.

Assignment of the A1 underlying rating reflects the district's modestly sized tax base with recent declines in valuation, improved financial operations, and elevated debt profile that is expected to moderate. The enhanced Aa2 rating and negative outlook is due to the additional security provided by the State of Minnesota's School District Credit Enhancement Program (MSDE).

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