The Minneapolis Special School District won a one-notch upgrade in its issuer credit rating to AA, Standard & Poor’s reward for management’s successful efforts to control spending and for the fiscal boost provided by voters who recently approved a $60 million annual levy.

The review was conducted ahead of the sale of $10 million of refunding general obligation bonds and $23 million of refunding certificates of participation. The district’s issuer credit rating on its COPs was raised one notch to AA-minus. The COPs are backed by the district’s pledge to make lease rental payments to cover debt service through an annual levy.

The district benefits from its participation in the local Twin Cities economy, an improved financial position due to belt tightening that has resulted in several years of very strong reserves and the additional revenue that will come from the levy. Falling enrollment and upcoming teacher contract negotiations pose budgetary pressures that limit the district’s strengths, analysts wrote.

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