Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings upgraded the Port Arthur Independent School District in Texas on Friday, ahead of its planned sale of $49.5 million of unlimited-tax school building bonds.
Moody’s rated the current issue Aa3 and raised the district’s $284.2 million of parity debt to Aa3 from A1.
Fitch rated the issue AA-minus and upgraded $239.6 million of outstanding unlimited-tax general obligation bonds to AA-minus from A-plus.
“The upgrade reflects the district’s significantly improved financial position that is evidenced by a consistent build-up of general fund reserves in recent years, as well as a stabilized enrollment situation,” Fitch said in a statement.
The bonds are secured by a continuing and direct annual ad valorem tax levied by the district.
“The upgrade reflects the district’s sizable — albeit concentrated — tax base, favorable financial flexibility as evidenced by solid general fund reserves, and manageable debt burden,” Moody’s said in a statement.