Fitch Ratings has assigned a AA+ rating to about $18 million in 2012 general obligation bonds issued by the Clovis Unified School District. The bonds are being used to refinance some of the district's outstanding 2004 bonds and are expected to be sold at the end of May.
A rating of AA denotes "expectations of very low default risk" and "very strong capacity for payment of financial commitments." The AA+ rating is higher than the AA rating, but just below the company's highest rating of AAA.
Fitch also downgraded $14.2 million in 2006 and 2010 bonds from the Bass Lake Joint Union School District from AA- to A+. The rating means the bonds are still rated as investment-grade, but Fitch indicated that the district's ability to reduce its spending is limited after already enduring several years of aggressive budget cuts. The state's uncertain budget outlook and possible cuts to education were also cited by the ratings firm.