Standard & Poor's Tuesday announced that it had upgraded 19 school districts in California, plus one in Washington.
"The upgrades were part of our practice of regularly surveilling existing ratings, and they reflect criteria we published in 2008 on the role of size, location, and quantitative factors in our opinions on general obligation and appropriation debt," credit analyst Chris Morgan said in a statement.
The maintenance of strong reserves was a factor in most of the upgrades, although many districts are subject to revenue pressure from intensifying state budgetary stress that has translated into funding reductions or delays in some cases, according to Standard & Poor's. In all cases, the districts have an outlook of stable.
The California school districts that saw upgrades are Coronado Unified, Eastern Sierra Unified, Hanford Elementary, Jamul-Dulzura Union, Kings River Union Elementary, Lakeside Joint (Santa Clara County), Linns Valley-Poso Flat Union, Lucerne Valley Unified, Mammoth Unified, Newark Unified, Nicasio Elementary, Oakley Union Elementary, Orcutt Union, Paradise Unified, Pioneer Union Elementary, Rio Elementary, Sanger Unified, Tamalpais Union High, and Weaver Union.
At the same time, S&P affirmed the West Sonoma County Union High School District at A-plus but revised its outlook to stable from positive.
The Washington school district that saw an upgrade was Cowlitz County No. 401 (Castle Rock).