The Menlo Park City School District has some good news for local taxpayers -- after being given the highest possible long-term debt rating in October, the district has refinanced some of its bonds, saving taxpayers $12.47 million.
Ahmad Sheikholeslami, the district's chief business and operations officer, said the district received a triple A rating from Moody's Investors Service, based on "the strength of our finances and the assessed values of our properties."
The school already had a triple A rating from Standard and Poor's, and the district says it is now the only district in the state to have maximum ratings from both organizations.
The district refunded bonds sold in 2005, 2008 and 2010 in a process similar to refinancing a home loan.
"The Board takes its fiduciary responsibility to our highly supportive community very seriously," said Superintendent Maurice Ghysels in a statement. "With this action the board reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining sound public finances for our district and our community."
Board member Terry Thygesen said that because the community has supported the district "time and again," the district owes it to them "to lower the burden whenever possible."
The refunding pays off existing debt by borrowing money at a lower interest rate. The new bonds were sold at an overall interest rate of 4.06 percent which was nearly 2.0 percent less than the 5.97 percent interest rate on the combined 2005, 2008 and 2010 bonds, the district said.