D209 Earns Top Bond Rating
PROVISO TOWNSHIP – Proviso Township High Schools District 209 (PTHS D209) is proud to announce that the District has received a bond rating that has been upgraded from the current A to A+ by Standard & Poor.
“The upgrade of the district rating to A+ should result in lower costs when accessing the capital markets, which is part of our future work as a school district. Our fiscal house is in order, and we will continue our strategic vision that got us here and embrace the work of our financial advisors to continue in our quest for excellence,” stated Superintendent, Dr. Jesse J. Rodriguez.
The upgrade to A+ is the culmination of strong, disciplined fiscal management over several years designed to lead the district out of the poor financial situation inherited from past years of poorly executed fiscal management.
Board of Education Secretary and Chair of the Finance Committee, Ms. Amanda Grant stated, "I'm thrilled with our new rating as it reflects the hard work and dedication of the Finance Committee, 209 Administration and the Board of Education. With careful examination of our finances and courageous decisions, we are able to restructure old debt and begin to fund long-term facility needs. This benefits our students and Proviso Township at large--all residents deserve schools we can be proud of."
The upgrade to the district’s credit rating is due to the district’s continued strong operating results, evidenced by six straight years of general fund surpluses, which has raised combined available reserves to $42 million, or, a very strong 47.2% of operating expenditures. Continued property tax base growth, which supports operations, and moderate debt are additional reasons for the upgrade. It was also noted that the district has significant capital needs, and will comply with its fund-balance policy of maintaining 25% of reserves in operating funds. The financial review demonstrates the district’s financial position is the strongest it’s been in at least the last six years, with improvement in 2017 and 2018 that has well exceeded expectations.
Standard & Poor's recognized these achievements in its report, stating, “Proviso Township High Schools District 209 benefits from strong management that adheres to fiscal policies, multi-year budgeting and long term capital planning. The District has been successful in restoring fund balance and intends to maintain reserves at healthier levels going forward. It was noted that the district is still a state oversight panel that oversees budgeting. With significant capital needs during the next five to seven years, the oversight panel requires the district to have multiple funding options. It is clear that District 209 could use some general fund reserves, but will likely keep reserves above 30% of expenditures as established by the results driven fiscal plan from Superintendent Rodriguez, as guided and approved by the Board of Education and Financial Oversight Panel.”
Financial Oversight Panel Chair, Dr. Craig Schilling stated, “The A+ bond rating will not only save taxpayers money but make more funds available for needed capital improvements. The biggest beneficiaries to the increase in the district's bond rating are the students. The improvement will make more funds available for needed capital improvements to the facilities they use. Hats off to the Proviso administration, board and staff.”
Mr. Ned Wagner, Board of Education President, reflected on the process by stating. "I am so proud of the excellent work being produced by the Superintendent and the Board of Education on behalf of the students and families of Proviso Township. The upgrading of the district's bond rating is the result of years of disciplined spending and creative planning. This work is laying the foundation for a plethora of transformational developments such as increases in access to technology; upgrading of our school buildings; and funding the Transformation Plans at Proviso East and West."