This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
The first week of school ended with some sunny financial news for the School District of Philadelphia.
The credit-rating agency Moody’s upgraded the district’s bond rating for the first time since 2010 — and shifted its long-term outlook on the district’s financial health from "stable" to "positive."
The district’s new bond rating, Ba2, still qualifies as "non-investment grade," known informally as a junk rating. But the upward revision suggests Moody’s sees hope in the district after years of financial misery.
Analysts praised district leadership in its credit opinion.
"The upgrade of the underlying rating to Ba2 speaks to considerable improvement in the district’s still strained financial position," analysts wrote. "Management is experienced, and though some are new to the district, the team has developed a detailed understanding not only of the district’s finances but also of charter pressures and the complexities of managing a highly dynamic, large, urban school district."