This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania schools represent a growing chunk of the school districts that have the most desperate finances in the country, according to one credit rating agency.
Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the credit of eight Pennsylvania school districts since March, and it says the worst of those aren’t likely to recover anytime soon.
The rating agency points to a crushing mix of rising costs due to delayed pension payments, growing charter schools, alongside a failure – or inability – to squeeze much more out of their local residents with higher property taxes. Many districts are also waiting for the state to reimburse them for years-old construction projects.
Jeff Ammerman, with the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials, said low interest rates haven’t helped the dismal situation.