Evans County School District, GA 2019 GO Bonds Assigned 'AA+' Rating

NEW YORK (S&P Global Ratings) April 15, 2019--S&P Global Ratings assigned its 'AA+' long-term rating and its 'A' underlying rating to Evans County School District, Ga.'s series 2019 general obligation (GO) bonds. The outlook is stable.
"The 'AA+' long-term rating reflects our assessment of the security provided by the district's participation in the Georgia State Aid Intercept Program, while the 'A' underlying rating reflects our opinion of the district's general creditworthiness," said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Kaiti Vartholomaios.
The 2019 bonds are GOs of the district and are payable from revenues of an Education Special Local Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST). Because the ESPLOST pledge lacks key criteria components and the 2019 bonds mature after expiration of the authorization, we rate to the strength of the GO pledge.
Proceeds of the 2019 bonds will finance a new high school.
Evans County School District serves an estimated population of 10,752. It operates four schools: one elementary, one middle, one high, and one alternative school. Enrollment grew 1% between 2015 and 2019, fluctuating between negative 2% and positive 4% each year. Management expects it to remain at least steady for the next few years.
"The stable outlook on the program rating reflects the strength of Georgia's State Aid Intercept Program and the stable outlook on the underlying rating reflects our opinion that the district will maintain good reserves," added Ms. Vartholomaios. We do not expect to change the ratings during the two-year outlook horizon.
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