School district earns excellent credit rating

1 min read

Moody’s Investors Service has assigned the Beaufort County School District an Aa1 rating, which means Beaufort County holds the second-highest rating among South Carolina’s 82 school districts.

Only Greenville County – South Carolina’s largest school district, which is boosted by the state’s most business-heavy tax base – is rated higher than Beaufort County with a AAA designation.

Moody’s said the Beaufort County School District “benefits from a stable and healthy financial position bolstered by conservative budgeting, proactive management, and adherence to formal policies.” The district’s debt burden is comparable to the national medians for the Aa1 rating category, the rating service added.

Outgoing superintendent Jeff Moss said the excellent ratings from Moody’s – “Aa1 underlying and Aa1 enhanced” – mean that Beaufort County taxpayers will benefit from paying lower interest rates on school bonds.

“Beyond the dollars and cents,” Moss said, “it also means that our taxpayers can be confident that the district continues to be in an excellent overall financial position moving forward.”

Factors that could challenge Beaufort County’s excellent rating, Moody’s said, were the district’s limited ability to raise revenues due to state law (Act 388), and financial reserve and liquidity levels that are below those of similarly rated school districts.

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