A school district in Monroe County, Arkansas, sold $13.4 million in bonds to refund a previous issuance and make capital improvements.
The bonds, issued by Brinkley School District, mature between 2025 and 2054, yielding between 2.75% and 4%. They received a rating of Aa2 from Moody’s Investors Service.
Moody’s analysts said the rating is based on security provided by Arkansas’s School District Intercept Program (SDIP), which commits state funds in the event of a debt service deficiency. “The Aa2 rating also reflects the strong sufficiency of available revenues and transaction structure of this financing,” Moody’s analysts wrote.
The district includes an elementary school and a high school, both of which were last renovated in the early 2000s. The high school is now in poor condition and the elementary school is in fair condition, according to the official statement accompanying the sale of the bonds.
The bonds will finance a project that includes “erecting and equipping new school facilities and making additions and improvements to existing facilities,” the bond documents read. The district anticipates the project to complete in January 2027.
Brinkley enrolls around 440 students in Monroe County, which is located in eastern Arkansas. Monroe County is one of the poorest in the United States, with a poverty rate of 21.4%, nearly double the national average, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
The bonds are limited, general obligations of the school district, payable by district revenue and the SDIP.
Robert W. Baird & Co, Inc served as underwriter on the issuance, purchasing the bonds for close to par. Stephens Inc acted as municipal advisor.