Standard & Poor’s revised its outlook to negative from stable on Clair County Community Unit School District No. 196’s A rating.

The rating review comes ahead of the Illinois district’s issuance of general obligation refunding bonds.

“The outlook revision is due to the district’s fiscal imbalance which may lead to additional drawdowns on general-fund cash reserves,” said Standard & Poor’s analyst John Kenward.

The rating reflects the district’s location in the diverse St. Louis metropolitan area economy, good income levels, adequate cash reserves through fiscal 2012, and a moderate overall debt burden with no additional debt plans.

The district’s challenges include a low per-capita market value and fiscal pressure from declines in its tax base and lack of state aid growth. The district provides pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education with an enrollment of 1,170. The district serves St. Clair County on the Illinois side of the metropolitan area.

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