Moody’s Investors Service last week removed the negative outlook from Las Cruces Public Schools, while affirming the Aa3 bond rating for the district’s $12.3 million 2018 general obligation school bonds. Moody’s stated that the removal of the negative outlook is based on a trend of balanced operations after a period of large deficits.

“We expect the district to continue to maintain stable, if limited, reserves due to conservative budgeting practices,” the company stated in a release.

Superintendent Greg Ewing said the improved outlook is a result of the hard work of the district’s finance department, and he credited the school board for passing a responsible budget for the current fiscal year.

“We are extremely grateful to the school board for its commitment to transparency, but also for its courage in making difficult decisions in the best interest of the district,” Ewing said. “This year’s budget was not easy to balance, but as a result of the board’s vision and hard work, we expect to be in a much better financial situation moving forward.”

The improved outlook was released last week, just ahead the sale of the general obligation school bonds, series 2018, which were overwhelmingly approved by Las Cruces voters in February. The $50 million school bond was met with 89 percent approval at the polls.

The district will sell bonds over the next four years to pay for new classrooms, remodeled facilities, safety items, and equipment upgrades, district officials said.

“We appreciate the support of the community, and its willingness to invest in our kids and schools,” Ewing said. “We will continue to work to keep the community informed and up to date on how these improvement projects are going.”

— Damien Willis, LCPS Director of Communications, 575-527-5811, dwillis@lcps.net