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Its been a dreary day across SE Texas with plenty of clouds. Fog tonight with temperatures warmer than last night with onshore winds. Skies are cloudy across the region with southeast winds and higher humidity. Changes coming though as the nextf ront arrives Tuesday with a chance of rain and colder weather in time for ...


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Standard & Poor's ratings for BISD lowered due to weakened financial position and practices


DALLAS (Standard & Poor's) April 9, 2014 --
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its issuer credit rating (ICR) to 'A-' from 'AA-' on Beaumont Independent School District, Texas' outstanding general obligation (GO) debt. The outlook is negative.

In addition Standard & Poor's affirmed its 'AAA' enhanced program rating on the district's outstanding GO debt. The outlook on the enhanced program rating remains stable. The 'AAA' program rating reflects the district's eligibility for, and participation in, the Texas Permanent School Fund bond guarantee program, which provides the security of a permanent fund of assets the district can use to meet debt service on program-guaranteed bonds.

"The downgrade of the district's unenhanced ratings primarily reflects our
view of the district's weakened financial position and financial management practices, including reported gaps in internal controls uncovered by an ongoing FBI embezzlement investigation and an investigation by the Texas Education Agency," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Lauren Spalten.

In our view, the ICR reflects the district's:

*    Deficient internal control mechanisms that have been evidenced in
*    conjunction with the indictment of two former district officials on
*    embezzlement charges,
*    Moderately high property tax base concentration in the potentially
*    volatile petrochemical sector,
*    Stable student enrollment, and
*    Very strong wealth levels and good income levels.


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