Standard & Poor’s this week announced it had raised the ratings on 11 school districts in Missouri and Wisconsin following a review based on revised credit criteria for smaller districts.

The agency also affirmed the rating on one Wisconsin district. All the districts carry a stable outlook. “The upgrades follow our review of school districts across the Midwest, particularly in light of criteria published in 2008 reflecting our views of smaller or more remote communities,” analyst Jane Ridley wrote.

The key to a higher rating, analysts said, is achieving a balance between location and economic opportunity that helps maintain financial stability. The upgraded issuers in Missouri are Cape Girardeau County Reorganized School District No. R-II, Miller County Reorganized School District No. 2 Osage, the Newton County R-V School District, the St. Joseph School District, and the St. Louis County Special School District.

The upgraded issuers in Wisconsin include the Burlington Area School District, the Eleva-Strum School District, the Kohler School District, the Pulaski Community School District, the Sparta Area School District, and the Union Grove High School District. The affirmed issuer is the Plymouth Joint School District in Wisconsin.

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