Standard and Poor’s has upgraded Barbers Hill ISD’s credit rating from AA to AA+. The agency noted the district’s added support of the Barbers Hill ISD Education Foundation, financial management with healthy reserves, and management practices and policies in assigning this high-quality credit rating. Superintendent Dr. Greg Poole stated, “This stronger rating places BHISD in an elite group of the top 20 school districts in the state financially and indicates the faith the financial community has in our school board and business office leadership. Our taxpayers will benefit from lower interest rates as a result of wise financial practices, and Assistant Superintendent of Finance Becky McManus and her staff are to be commended.”
Moody’s Investor Service affirmed the district’s Aa2 rating, citing the “district’s large and growing tax base, dominated by economic concentration in oil and gas and petrochemical sectors, and favorable resident income indices. The rating also reflects the consistent trend of favorable financial performance and materially higher reserves relative to peers…” Barbers Hill ISD’s strong financial management was recognized by Moody’s in 2015 when they upgraded the district to Aa2.
The ratings were secured in advance of the Oct. 29 refinancing of $60.4 million in outstanding bonds originally issued in 2011 and 2012. The “refunding” and restructuring of this prior debt will save district taxpayers approximately $19.2 million over the life of the issue.
The 2011 and 2012 bonds were issued with interest rates ranging from 3.50% to 5.00%. The refunding bonds were sold this week with varying rates ranging from 1.86% to 2.51%. The maturity date of the refunded bonds was reduced nine years.
Assistant Superintendent of Finance Becky McManus stated, “We are very pleased with the results of the refunding. We were able to once again take advantage of a lower interest rate market than when the bonds were initially sold which will result in less interest being paid on future debt and savings for our taxpayers.”