Stoddard County School District R-XI (Dexter), MO Assigned 'A+' ICR, 2019 COPs Rated 'A'; Outlook Is Stable

CENTENNIAL (S&P Global Ratings) April 19, 2019--S&P Global Ratings assigned its 'A+' issuer credit rating to Stoddard County School District R-XI (Dexter), Mo., and its 'A' long-term rating to the district's series 2019 certificates of participation (COPs). The outlook is stable.
Securing the COPs are lease rental payments made by the district, as lessee, to UMB Bank N.A., as lessor and trustee.
"We rate these obligations one notch lower than the district's general creditworthiness to account for the appropriation risk associated with the lease payments," said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Katelyn Kerley. "Our rating reflects the affordability and likelihood of the lease payments as well as our view of the district's general creditworthiness. In our opinion, the lease features and terms are standard with no unusual risks regarding timely payment of debt," Ms. Kerley added.
The proceeds from the COPs will be used to acquire and install energy conservation improvements throughout the district.
Stoddard County R-XI (Dexter) School District serves an estimated population of 13,087.
The stable outlook reflects our expectation that the district will maintain stable operations and strong reserves for the foreseeable future. Consequently, we do not anticipate changing the rating within the two-year outlook horizon.
If the local economy were to materially grow and develop, as evidenced by improved income and market-value metrics, we could raise the rating.
If the district's operations deteriorate, such that it reduces its reserves to a level that we no longer consider commensurate with those of similarly rated peers, we could lower the rating.
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