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No. COC-05.15.12-BondRating
May 15, 2012
Standard & Poor's Affirms AA Rating of College of the Canyons Bonds
Independent financial ratings firm Standard & Poor’s has affirmed its AA status of the college’s existing general obligation bonds (Measure C and Measure M), while also assigning an AA rating and stable outlook for the college’s upcoming sale of $35 million of Measure M general obligation bonds, which hit the market May 16, 2012.
In addition, the college’s roughly $33 million in outstanding certificates of participation (COPs) received an affirmed AA status. The AA rating and stable outlook reflects Standard & Poor's opinion that the Santa Clarita Community College District will likely maintain, what Standard & Poor’s considers “its good operations and solid reserves.”
General obligation bonds are reviewed by two rating agencies -- Standard & Poor’s and Fitch -- as part of the sale process. Ratings are subjective, with agencies given the latitude to give weight to different factors when deciding on their rating.
Earlier this month the Fitch firm announced a downgraded rating of AA -- down one notch from the previous rating of AA+ -- for the college’s existing bond transactions, along with an initial rating of AA for the college’s upcoming bond sale.
“We are pleased to once again earn an AA bond rating from both Standard & Poor?s and Fitch Rating,” Vice President of Business Services Sharlene Coleal said. “In light of the economic conditions that continue to burden the state of California, and the fact that the college has absorbed millions of dollars in cuts while still providing outstanding service to our students and the community, the AA rating underscores the district’s commitment to strong fiscal management while still providing high quality instructional programs.”
The college’s AA rating is in keeping with most other community colleges and K-12 school districts across the state. While some K-12 districts have been able to receive an AAA rating, no community college currently enjoys that status.
By way of comparison, the State of California’s general obligation bonds have an A- rating, while the state itself has an AA rating, having been downgraded from AAA in 1991.
Follow the links for more information about either of the college’s two recent bond measures.