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B-W School District Bonds Rated 'A+' by Standard & Poor's

And other notes from Wednesday night's school board meeting.

'A+' Rating

Turns out that an "A+" rating in school is good for book reports and bonds.

Baldwin-Whitehall School Board member Martin Michael Schmotzer commended his colleagues and B-W School District administrators at their meeting on Wednesday night for helping the district to achieve an A+ rating on its general obligation bonds from Standard & Poor's Ratings Services.

Standard & Poor's (S&P's) rating scale goes from "D" (lowest grade) to "AAA" (highest), with optional "+" and "-" modifications given from "CCC" to "AA."

S&P's gave Baldwin-Whitehall an "A+" for its school issuer credit, long-term and underlying ratings.

According to S&P's official analysis, the ratings reflect S&P's view of B-W's "participation in the Pittsburgh metropolitan statistical area with a suburban, residential local economy and good resident income; maintenance of very strong fund balance levels despite the recent use of reserves; and moderate debt burden levels with limited capital needs."

Said Schmotzer, "I think that speaks volumes of the finance committee that was set up years ago (in Baldwin-Whitehall) with (board members) Mr. (George L.) Pry; Mr. (Kevin J.) Fischer; my brother, John (B. Schmotzer, a former board member); and Ms. (Nancy Sciulli) DiNardo(, who) served on it occasionally.

"I think they did a fantastic job. I think they took this school district's business office, which was in dire shape years ago, and they really righted the ship. And I expect that ship to continue.

"The foundation that we had to do three tax cuts and hold the district twice with no tax increase is a direct impact of the work that Mr. Pry, Mr. Fischer, Ms. DiNardo and my brother, John, did.

"And also, when people marvel at Baldwin High School up and down Route 51, there's no doubt in my mind that that high school wouldn't be half of what it is today without the high school renovation committee—made up of also some past board members—who ... just did a fantastic job. It's a jewel. We built that high school for less than half of what other districts are talking about for building high schools, and it was brought in ... a million dollars under cost."

School Director Recognition Month

Along the same line of thanking school board members for their volunteer service, B-W district administration recognized the board's nine current members on Wednesday—and John Schmotzer, its most recently departed member—with small gifts as part of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association's School Director Recognition Month.

Donations from Athletic Boosters, Rep. Kortz

The school board unanimously accepted donations on Wednesday from the Baldwin-Whitehall Athletic Booster Association and from state Rep. William C. Kortz II, whose 38th House District includes parts of Baldwin Borough.

The boosters donated to the district a sound system valued at $1,169.45.

Kortz donated $681.40 in cash, a portion of the money that the state representative recently received for a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). Kortz is splitting that COLA money up among his constituents.

All Football Coaching Positions Declared Open in Baldwin-Whitehall

Read here.

Baldwin-Whitehall School Board Will Not Pursue Hefty Tax Increase

Read here.

Read through other Baldwin-Whitehall School Board items here.

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