Good news for taxpayers in Menlo Park City School District


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.

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4 people like this
Posted by Member
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Nov 10, 2015 at 6:20 pm

Is Las Lomitas District able to follow suit?

7 people like this
Posted by Elizabeth Ouren
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Nov 10, 2015 at 7:25 pm

Great news! Thank you MPCSD for being good financial stewards!

10 people like this
Posted by stats
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Nov 11, 2015 at 10:46 am

Worthwhile reading the whole news release:
Web Link&
* Menlo Park City School District is now the only school district in California to have both a “Aaa” rating from Moody’s and a “AAA” rating from Standard and Poor’s.
* Unlike nearly all other capital appreciation bonds (CABs) issued by California school districts in the 2000s, the District’s 2008 and 2010 bonds were issued with the ability to be refinanced in the future.
This big savings stemmed from hard work and good long term planning by the board and Ahmad. Great work !
I was originally a skeptic of the the CABs, but district has artfully managed them back into General Obligation bonds. I'm impressed and glad I live in this district. We're getting the needed expansions with the best possible financial management I have ever seen.

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Posted by Happier
a resident of Hillview Middle School
on Nov 12, 2015 at 8:09 pm

I'm happier with this move. Still not so happy that we're probably still paying for the previous addition (multi etc) to Hillview that was demolished for the current buildings.
Refinancing a good move

1 person likes this
Posted by Hillview alum
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 14, 2015 at 1:21 am

Happier, FYI, the Hillview multi that was built in the 90s was not demolished -- it is still stands and is part of the new Hillview.

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Posted by stats
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Nov 14, 2015 at 5:13 pm

The 1995 bond issue built the whole multi building (multi, band room/dance studio, locker rooms, and kitchen) plus two science classrooms that came to a total of 8M$ or so. The 2 science classrooms were probably 500K$ of the total cost, but you couldn't even acquire additional land to "save" those two classrooms for that 500K$. All-in-all, a necessary trade-off.

Web Link

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