Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said it raised its school issuer credit rating on Gloucester Township Board of Education, N.J.'s general obligation debt one notch to A-plus from A.

The outlook is stable.

The upgrade reflects Standard & Poor's assessment of the continued improvement in district reserves and financial operations.

Standard & Poor's also assigned its AA-minus program rating and negative outlook and A-plus ICR and stable outlook to the board of education's $7.5 million series 2013 GO school refunding bonds and its A-plus ICR and stable outlook to the board's existing GO debt.

In addition, the rating service affirmed its AA-minus program rating, with a negative outlook, on the district's GO debt.

The negative outlook on the program rating reflects Standard & Poor's assessment of the outlook on the rating on the state's GO debt.

"We believe management will likely maintain the district's improved financial operations that resulted in, what we consider, very strong reserves of 21% at fiscal year-end 2012. We also believe the district will likely maintain, in our opinion, its strong available reserves as it funds upcoming capital needs due to, what we regard as, conservative budgeting practices," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Nicole Ridberg. "What we view as the district's low and rapidly amortizing debt and strong wealth and income are stabilizing rating factors. Therefore, we do not expect to change the rating within the outlook's two-year period."

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