SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Moody's Investors Service lowered the credit rating of the San Diego Unified School District's general obligation bonds Thursday and gave the district a "negative" financial outlook.
The drop from Aa1 to a still-strong Aa2 was the result of "substantially narrowed financial flexibility after material draws on reserves in recent years," according to a Moody's statement.
"The negative outlook on the rating reflects the district's practice of funding ongoing expenditures with one time sources, which is a distinct credit risk given the potential for mid-year funding cuts in the current year and continued tight funding going forward," the organization reported.
The SDUSD is not only facing mid-year cuts in state funding in the current school year, but officials warn the shortfall for next year could top $100 million.
Ron Little, the district's chief financial officer, said the downgrade impacts future bond issues, such as for its $2.1 billion construction program, but not current debt.
He said the downgrade brings Moody's in line with Standard & Poor's, which already had a slightly lower rating for the district -- and investors probably already accepted that lesser rating.
"This rating downgrade, while disappointing, is understandable given the continuing fiscal challenges faced by the district and the pending midyear K-12 education budget cuts potentially coming from the state," Little said.
Moody's said the district had some strengths, including a large and diverse tax base, and an uncomplicated debt portfolio. However, the school board has failed to keep expenses in line with declining revenues and has limited flexibility to handle future budget challenges, Moody's reported.
A 27-year-old man suffered fatal injuries as the result of a "punching game'' inside of a bar Saturday morning in the Gaslamp
neighborhood of San Diego.
SANDAG began removing call boxes along urban highways throughout the San Diego region this month and will continue to do so through June, reflecting a decrease in call volume due to the increase in cell phone ownership.
Authorities today announced that police have arrested a suspect in connection with Friday's sexual assault on the campus of San Diego Mesa College. The name of the suspect was not immediately released.
Showers will be mostly light Saturday morning, decreasing into early Saturday afternoon. Another round of showers expected to push through late afternoon ending late Saturday night.
Police Chief David Nisleit Friday strongly disavowed what he described as an unofficial, "never authorized" departmental program that rewarded officers for making narcotics arrests.
On Friday, San Diego Police announced their search for a suspect involved in a robbery off the San Diego State University campus.
A court-appointed receiver has taken control of a Pacific Beach "hoarder house" that has accumulated trash, created unsafe conditions for children and harbored vermin in recent years, the San Diego City Attorney's Office announced Friday.
The owners of Hauser's Patio reached out to News 8 Friday morning asking to be put in contact with the couple who had their furniture stolen from their patio in Pacific Beach this week.