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District's A+ bond rating reaffirmed by Fitch Ratings

TAVARES – Fitch Ratings, a leading source of independent credit ratings, has affirmed Lake County Schools’ certificates of participation (COP) bond rating at A+ with a stable outlook for the sixth time since 2011.

“Since 2011, we have aggressively worked to refund our outstanding debt with the sole purpose of reducing future interest payments,’’ said Lake County Schools Chief Financial Officer Carol MacLeod. “The result of those refunding issues has been a reduction of future interest payments in excess of $20 million.”

The news release distributed by Fitch Ratings this month explains that the rating assumes the district will continue to maintain adequate reserve levels. It also states the district experienced solid general fund revenue growth over the 10-year period through fiscal 2016 and is expected to continue revenue growth in line with historical performance, given ongoing enrollment growth.

The district was praised for having “relatively good control over employee-related expenditures” and for meeting state class size requirements.

“Fitch continues to cite prudent fiscal management and overall low debt burden to support the continued bond ratings,” MacLeod said.