Forsyth County Schools announced this week that the district’s bond rating has been upgraded to the highest possible rating, AAA, by financial services company Standard & Poor’s (S&P).
This news comes a little over a year after the district received an Aaa bond rating from the financial services company Moody’s. With this upgraded rating, Forsyth County has become one of 17 school districts in the nation to receive top ratings from both companies.
“We are very proud that both agencies have recognized our continued efforts to be responsible stewards of taxpayer funds,” said Jeff Bearden, Forsyth County Schools superintendent. “Having the highest possible credit rating is a benefit for taxpayers with lower interest rates on the sale of our bonds. Our Board of Education and staff have a strong record of fiscal balance, sound reserves and financial accountability.”
According to a news release by the school system, Forsyth County is the second district in Georgia to receive the AAA rating from S&P, second only after Gwinnett County Public Schools, the largest school district in the state. The release also states that Forsyth is the only school district in the state to receive a three-year consecutive 5-out-of-5 Star Financial Efficiency Rating from the Georgia Department of Education.
Forsyth County Schools Chief Financial Officer Chris Griner said that this new upgrade wasn’t wholly unexpected since the district was already rated Aaa by Moody’s. But Griner said it should provide further assurance to taxpayers that their money is being spent well by the county.
"From a transparency standpoint, it just means the finances are being handled well, and that is being recognized by a third party," Griner said. "To me, it's just an extra piece of credibility to what we are doing."
This year, Forsyth County voters approved a $295,000,000 school bond to fund four new schools, technology, and increased safety measures.