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Moody’s Investors Service Assigns Rating for Fort Worth ISD for Upcoming Bond Sale
Moody’s Investor Service has shared this news release – below --regarding the Fort Worth ISD’s bond rating.
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Fort Worth ISD trustees voted Friday, Dec. 16, 2022, to enter into a Chapter 313 agreement that could result in a multi-million-dollar payout to the District in coming years. The agreement is with Hanwha Q Cells Americas Holdings Co. (Hanwha).
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With the approval of a parameters order that allows staff to proceed with the issuance of bonds not to exceed $300 million, the Fort Worth ISD (FWISD) Board of Education voted Tuesday night to authorize the second issuance of bonds under the 2021 Capital Improvement Program. The first $150 million issuance closed Sept. 2022.
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Dr. Angelica M. Ramsey Signs Contract to Become FWISD'S Superintendent
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Dr. Angelica Ramsey is Lone Finalist for FWISD Superintendent.
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The Fort Worth ISD has made the first sale of bonds from its 2021 Capital Improvemet Program.
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Fort Worth ISD Receives Rating by Moody's Investors Service for Upcoming Bond Sale.
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Working with the fintech company BondLink, the district has launched a website to increase transparency into how bond dollars are being spent and to track investor interest for possible future reference.
Fort Worth Independent School District in Texas recently announced the launch of a website designed to increase financial transparency and attract investors to help fund major capital projects throughout the district.
According to a news release, the new online tool, www.FortWorthISDBonds.com, is a free investor-relations website that provides a single location for district investors and stakeholders to access data and documents showing the credit features of the system’s financing programs.
Fort Worth ISD Chief Financial Officer Carmen Arrieta-Candelaria said the main goal of the site is to give the public more clarity about bond issuances, as well as how those funds are used.
“One of the things we wanted to do was increase our transparency within our website as it relates to providing financial information to our investors and any stakeholders that may be interested in looking at not only our bonds but our district,” she said. “And we wanted to put it in one location.”
According to Arrieta-Candelaria, the district recently secured a $1.2 billion bond authorization to cover capital projects, such as major renovations throughout all of the district’s middle schools, construction of a new elementary school and replacement campuses at three locations. She said the bond issuances will be rolled out in phases, starting with $150 million for the construction of a new elementary school.
“We have a $1.2 billion program we passed in November of 2021, and so this $150 million bond is our first issuance under that authorization,” she said. “In Texas, in order for us to issue bonds, we have to pass a referendum through the voters, and the voters give us the permission and authorization to issue debt to build or improve our facilities … We wanted to have another tool in the toolbox to make sure we share with the community what we’re doing with their bond dollars.”
On the district’s end, Arrieta-Candelaria said, the online dashboard allows officials to see web traffic showing who is most interested in the information, which could help build relationships with investors moving forward.
“Under our dashboard, we can go in and actually see who is looking at our website to see if those investors actually came back to the table. This just gives us some additional information and clarity as to who is looking at the district’s information, and then we can be more proactive to try to get those investors to the market,” she said. “The more information we have, the better positioned we will be.”
The district website is powered by the fintech company BondLink, which has also partnered with the city of Fort Worth, the city of Dallas, the city of Arlington, the Texas Water Development Board, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs and other large bond issuers for similar projects.
“Developing a strong investor relations program is an important component of any successful bond financing, especially given the recent turbulence in the market,” BondLink CEO Colin MacNaught said in a statement. “We look forward to partnering with Fort Worth ISD as they continue to be transparent in the market and grow their investor relations program.”
While websites like these remain uncommon among K-12 districts, Arrieta-Candelaria said the resource could prove useful for districts like Fort Worth looking to make financial information more accessible, noting a study from New York University that suggests transparent financial disclosures can lead to lower bond yields for municipal issuers and lower trading costs for investors.
“I think public entities and school districts, in general, need to be able to position our bonds in the best way we can in order to be able to continue to draw interest to our bonds,” she said. “We want to be able to do that by utilizing this tool to increase transparency, not only to our investors but to our taxpayers because we want to be good stewards of our public money.”
On Tuesday, June 28, 2022, the Fort Worth ISD Board of Education approved a new budget for the 2022-23 school year in the amount of $819,514,450. The Board also approved a 4% compensation increase for teachers and 4% midpoint for all other employees, with the exception of a 6% of midpoint increase for para-professional and hourly employees.
Additionally, the Board approved a minimum rate of $15 per hour for all full-time hourly employees. A Team Member Incentive Stipend of $2,000 approved for all full-time employees was aimed at continuing to retain employees at FWISD.
See the attached news release for the full article.
Please see the below document to view this press release.
The Fort Worth Independent School District is thanking voters for their approval of a bond election measure that will enable the District to upgrade its middle schools and build four elementary schools.
Tarrant County election officials this afternoon finalized the vote, after provisional and mail-in ballots were counted. It was the largest school district bond to pass in the state.
“We are thrilled that voters are in support of our plan to bring our aging middle schools up to standard,” said Superintendent Kent P. Scribner. “These funds will renovate some of our oldest campuses and bring them into alignment with our high schools.”
The measure, at $1,211,000,000, was also the largest of four propositions.
“We are also grateful for the many citizens who attended one of our 73 bond presentations – at town halls, community group and service club discussions, or neighborhood association meetings,” said Dr. Scribner. “Voting is a part of our democratic process and we are pleased to accept their decision.”
In all, voters considered four propositions:
Proposition A – will provide funds for the construction, renovation, and upgrade of middle schools throughout the District. It also will allow for the construction of a new elementary school in the Ventana neighborhood of Benbrook, as well as three other elementaries and four early childhood centers.
Proposition B would have allocated money for upgrades to FWISD’s high school and middle school auditoriums, as well as other fine arts facilities. Proposition C supported construction of neighborhood stadiums. And, Proposition D would have upgraded recreational facilities and replacement of turf at existing athletic stadiums.
Watch the Video!
The Fort Worth ISD Council of PTAs has officially endorsed the District’s bond proposals on the November 2 ballot.
Over the last month, individual school PTAs took up a vote whether to endorse the Fort Worth ISD’s Commitment to Classrooms 2021 bond election. Then this past Saturday, October 16, representative PTA delegates voted in favor of supporting.
“We wanted our PTA delegates to have a voice,” saidPTA Council President Haley Zamarripa, following the unanimous vote. “We work together, we collaborate together and bigger things happen.”
Here is a brief video of the PTA vote.
Early voting is underway and continues through Friday, October 29. For more information, visitwww.fwisd.org/bond.
Everyone is welcome to attend a “Rediscover Fort Worth ISD” celebration at Arlington Heights High School, this Wednesday, October 27 at 10 a.m. Guests will tour the school’s new modern instructional areas.
It’s part of the District’s “Rediscover Fort Worth ISD” initiative to showcase new construction at our schools as a result of the Capital Improvement Program approved by voters in 2017.
Visitors will see:
The event begins at 10 a.m. with remarks by Superintendent Kent P. Scribner and Board of Education District 5 Trustee C.J. Evans. Guests will then divide into groups for the tours. News media may receive a special tour, upon request.
Construction continues throughout the campus. The school was built in 1937; the renovation project encompasses 93,000 square feet, including the new 47,000 square foot science building and 7,250 square feet of space in the new agricultural science building.