Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said it raised its underlying rating and school issuer credit rating on Southern Tioga School District, Pa.'s general obligation debt one notch to A-plus from A.

The outlook is stable.

"The upgrade is based on the district's improved financial position following operating surpluses in the past four fiscal years," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Ruth Ducret.

The rating reflects the school district's: conservative budgeting practices with consistently positive operating performance; steady growth in the property tax base; and moderate overall net debt burden with no plans for additional issuance.

The above credit strengths are partially offset by the district's adequate income and wealth levels as well as anticipated increases in state-mandated pension contributions.

The district serves an estimated population of 15,800 in Tioga and Lycoming counties in north-central Pennsylvania.

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