Fitch Ratings said it has placed all bonds issued on behalf of charter schools on Rating Watch Negative.

In addition, Fitch will maintain the Rating Watch Negative on Aspire Public Schools, Calif., that was originally assigned on June 5.

The Rating Watch Negative reflects Fitch's belief that application of the agency's recently published Charter School Rating Criteria will negatively affect charter school ratings at all levels. This criteria report updates prior criteria with substantial changes to the rating factors.

The report sets Fitch's expectations for charter schools' operating and financial profiles at more explicit and stringent levels for all rating levels than under the prior criteria.

Fitch expects to review all charter school ratings placed on Rating Watch Negative within the next six months, apply the updated criteria, and issue one or more closely-timed rating action commentaries explaining the rating rationale for any rating actions.

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