BRADENTON, Fla. — When Standard & Poor's downgraded all of Jefferson County, Ala.'s sales-tax backed school warrants, some people said the action was misleading and others were confused.

S&P issued a brief statement Dec. 11 stating that it lowered the ratings to D, the lowest rung on the rating scale, indicating payment default, from B on the county's Series 2004A, 2005A-1, 2005A-2, 2005A-3, 2005A-4, and 2005B warrants.

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