Officials at Moody’s released a statement on their higher rating saying Monroe’s “upgrade to Aa3 reflects the district’s significantly improved financial position and positive enrollment trends. Also incorporated are a growing tax base with strong resident income levels.”
Monroe Schools have seen their enrollment rise from 1,800 students during the 2005-2006 school year to 2,800 this school year.
The uptick in student numbers mirrors the Monroe city’s rising population and business base in recent years for the community that straddles the Butler and Warren County line and is intersected north and south by Interstate 75.
Cahall said the improved bond rating makes any borrowing for a bond issue school officials my pursue cheaper by lowering the interest rates Monroe Schools will have to pay for the borrowed money.
“Our ratings mean that our bonds are considered to be high quality and subject to very low credit risk,” she said.
And if Monroe officials do eventually decide – as they have discussed – to ask taxpayers to approve a bond issue tax increase to build a new school to replace the aging Monroe Primary School, the better rating will mean a lower tax mileage for local taxpayers.
Monroe school officials credit city taxpayers for their support in starting the district on the road to financial recovery by passing a new operating levy in 2012 and then replacing(CQ) it with another affirmative vote in 2016.
Without those school tax election victories, said Cahall, Monroe Schools’ financial status would not be nearly as highly rated as it is now by Moody’s.
“We had the faith and trust of the people,” she said. “And now we want to do everything we can to continue this progress.”