NEW YORK - Moody's Investors Service said it has assigned a A1 rating to Maricopa County USD 60 (Higley), Ariz., refunding bonds, Series 2012, expected to be issued in the approximate amount of $12.08 million, and downgraded the district's general obligation rating to A1 from Aa3, affecting approximately $54.2 million of outstanding parity debt.

The current offering is secured by the district's unlimited property tax pledge. Bond proceeds will fund various district construction projects and school vehicle purchases.

The downgrade and A1 rating primarily reflect repeatedly constrained district liquidity despite continued reliance on short-term borrowing in the face of state aid deferrals.

The rating also accounts for otherwise adequate reserve levels, a moderately-sized tax base following substantial declines, favorable wealth levels, continued enrollment growth, and a manageable debt burden constrained by state debt limitations.

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