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U.S. Charter Schools Rating Actions, 2022


U.S. Local Governments Credit Brief: New York School Districts


U.S. Not-For-Profit Health Care Rating Actions, February 2023


Bulletin: Houston Independent School District, TX Takeover By Texas Education Agency Does Not Affect Rating


U.S. Local Governments Credit Brief: New York State Counties And Municipalities Means And Medians

U.S. Charter Schools Rating Actions, 2022

In 2022, S&P Global Ratings took more positive than negative rating actions on U.S. charter schools, reflecting a sector that remains healthy due to increasing demand. Robust federal stimulus funding has led to greater financial flexibility for many of the schools we rate. We raised twice as many ratings (12) as we lowered (six). Moreover, the number of downgrades in 2022 was the lowest in a given year for the past decade (chart 2).


Chart 1


Chart 2


As discussed in "Outlook For U.S. Charter Schools: Credit Profiles Hold Steady," published Jan. 24, 2023, on RatingsDirect, demand remains solid, with charter school enrollment increasing compared with that of traditional public schools over the past two years. Although charter schools are not immune to rising expenses and labor shortages being seen across the U.S. economy, generous emergency federal funding continues to help mitigate these pressures, bolstering liquidity among the schools we rate. These positive factors and stable to increasing per-pupil financing led to the assignment of 27 new ratings in 2022, which is further indication of a growing sector.

Table 1

Charter Schools New Ratings Assigned
Institution State Rating Outlook
Achievement First Rhode Island RI BB+ Stable
Ball Charter Schools AZ BBB- Stable
Beatrice Mayes Institute TX BBB- Stable
Camden Prep Inc. NJ BBB- Stable
Citizens of the World Charter Schools-Los Angeles CA BB- Stable
College Achieve Paterson Charter School NJ BB+ Stable
East Harlem Tutorial Program NY BB+ Stable
Eleanor Kolitz Hebrew Language Academy TX BBB- Stable
Elevate Academy Inc. ID BB Stable
Environmental Charter Schools CA BBB- Stable
Evergreen Charter School NY BB Stable
Freedom Preparatory Academy TN BBB- Stable
Friere Charter School Wilimington DE BB Stable
Global Community Charter School NY BB+ Stable
Grand Concourse Academy Charter School NY BBB- Stable
Hawking STEAM Charter School CA BB+ Stable
Horizon Montessori Charter School TX BBB- Stable
Inspired Teaching Demonstration Charter School DC BBB Stable
KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy (KCNA Project LLC) NJ BBB Stable
KIPP NYC-Canal West NY BBB- Stable
Lee Montessori Public Charter School DC BB+ Stable
Manatee School for the Arts FL BBB- Stable
Memphis School of Excellence TN BBB- Stable
Paterson Arts and Science Charter School NJ BBB- Stable
Valor Collegiate Academies TN BBB- Stable
Wallace Stegner Academy UT BB+ Stable
Western Academy Charter School FL BB Stable

Table 2

Charter Schools Ratings Raised
Institution State Rating to Rating from Outlook to Outlook from Description
Academies of Math and Science AZ BB+ BB Stable Stable Improved demand, operating results, coverage, and liquidity.
Granada Hills Charter Obligated Group CA BBB BBB- Stable Positive Improved financial profile reflecting strong MADS coverage and solid growth in unrestricted reserves that we expect will be sustained.
Green Woods Charter School PA BB+ BB Stable Stable Solid balance sheet metrics, recent five-year charter renewal, and steady enrollment and demand profile.
KIPP Nashville TN BBB BBB- Stable Stable Sustained healthy financial performance, supporting growth in days' cash on hand and improved MADS coverage, that we expect will continue.
Lee County Charter Schools FL BB BB- Stable Stable Improved operations and coverage, along with management's ability to stem pre-pandemic enrollment declines and sustain healthy demand.
Liberty Charter School, Nampa ID BBB+ BBB Stable Stable Sustained healthy financial performance, supporting growth in days' cash on hand and improved MADS coverage.
Loveland Classical Schools CO BB+ BB Stable Stable Improving enrollment and demand profile, healthy operations, and consistent improvements in coverage and liquidity.
Parnassus Preparatory School MN BB+ BB Stable Stable Improved financial performance, debt burden, and cash position all coupled with steady demand.
Public Preparatory Charter Schools Academies NY BBB BB+ Stable - Improved network credit fundamentals over the past two fiscal years, specifically coverage and DCOH.
PUC Schools CA BB+ BB Stable Stable Substantial improvement in the organization's financial profile following a very healthy operating surplus in fiscal 2021.
River Springs Charter School CA BB+ BB Stable Positive Material improvements in the school's cash position and debt coverage metrics, which are expected to be sustained.
Voyageur Academy MI B+ B Positive Stable Recent five-year charter renewal and a trend of improved financial performance over the past few audited years, which we expect to continue.
MADS--Maximum annual debt service. DCOH--Days' cash on hand. DSC--Debt service coverage.

Table 3

Charter Schools Ratings Lowered
Institution State Rating to Rating from Outlook to Outlook from Description
A.W. Brown Leadership Academy TX B+ BB- Negative Negative Weakened financial profile, leading to lease-adjusted MADS coverage below 1x and three years of full-accrual operating deficits.
Cornerstone Schools FL BB+ BBB- Stable Stable Significant increase in leverage with the series 2022 issuance, reflecting an elevated debt burden and weakened pro forma MADS coverage.
Crossroads Charter Academy MI B+ BB- Stable Negative Precipitous enrollment declines over the past three years.
Flagstaff Academy AZ BBB- BBB Stable Negative Enrollment declines pressuring operations and MADS coverage.
HOPE Community Academy MN BB- BB Stable Negative Weakened financial profile stemming from initial enrollment challenges leading to weaker financial metrics.
PACT Charter School MN BB+ BBB- Negative Stable Significant increase in leverage, weakened pro forma MADS coverage, and expansion risk associated with growth to a second facility.
MADS--Maximum annual debt service. DCOH--Days' cash on hand.

Table 4

Charter Schools Outlook Revisions
Institution State Rating Outlook to Outlook from Description
Acero Charter School IL BB+ CreditWatch Negative Stable Lack of timely information of satisfactory quality to maintain our rating in accordance with our applicable criteria and policies.
Acero Charter School IL BB+ Stable Credit Watch Negative Removed from CreditWatch negative following receipt of latest enrollment and financial data, which indicated stable credit characteristics.
Arizona Autism Charter Schools Inc. AZ BB Positive Stable Continued enrollment growth spurring increased revenues, consistent trend of solid operating margins, coverage, and liquidity levels.
ASPIRA of Delaware Charter Operations Inc., d/b/a Las Americas ASPIRA Academy DE BB Stable Negative Improved operations and liquidity in fiscal 2021 and into fiscal 2022.
Aspire Public Schools CA BBB Stable Negative Improved financial performance, stabilzing enrollment, and strengthened liquidty position.
Bronx Charter School for Excellence NY BBB- Positive Stable Strengthening overall financial profile, including improved operational performance and a healthy cash position for the rating.
Chandler Park Academy MI BBB- Stable Negative Steady demand and improved financial operations.
Cheyenne Mountain Charter Academy CO BBB- Stable Negative Stabilized operating performance, with healthy financial results expected for fiscal 2022 and successful transition to a new authorizer.
Community Leadership Academy CO BB+ Stable Negative Improved enrollment trends that have strengthened both the school's enterprise profile and financial performance.
Doral Academy Inc. FL BBB- Positive Stable Improving lease-adjusted MADS coverage and robust liquidity position.
Flint International Academy MI BB Stable CW Negative Receipt of all requested information relevant to our review reflecting a consistent credit profile.
Great Oaks Legacy Charter School NJ BB+ Positive Stable Continued enrollment growth, solid demand, and improved financial metrics.
GreatHearts Arizona AZ BBB- Positive Stable Improved operating trends, increasing liquidity, and successful growth into debt.
Hanley International Academy MI BB Positive Stable Materially improved financial operating margins and debt service coverage metrics aided by 2021 refinancing.
ICEF Public Schools* CA BB Negative Stable Weakened enterprise profile spurred by sustained trend of enrollment declines, along with academic challenges that have previously resulted in elevated charter risk.
International Academy of Flint MI BB Credit Watch Negative Negative Lack of timely information.
Kaizen Education Foundation AZ BB Stable Negative Lowered risk of charter revocation associated with one of its campuses.
Liberty Common Charter School CO BBB- Positive Stable Strengthening enterprise profile, steady enrollment, solid demand, and healthy MADS coverage and liquidity.
Littleton Preparatory Charter School CO BB+ Positive Stable Improved financial metrics, with healthy margins, strengthening MADS, and solid days' cash on hand.
MaST Community Charter School PA BBB- Positive Stable Improved financial metrics with consistently healthy full-accrual operating margins, strengthened lease-adjusted MADS coverage, and solid days' cash.
Math & Science Academy Building Company MN BBB- Negative Stable Weakened MADS coverage and softer operating performance.
Nevada Charter Academies, d/b/a Amplus Academy NV BB Positive Stable Improved financial metrics, strengthened lease-adjusted MADS coverage, liquidity, and successful enrollment growth resulting from expansion.
Nova Academy TX BB Negative Stable Weakened enterprise profile, with material enrollment declines in five of the past six years, from a high of 962 students to 674 students in fall 2021.
Old Redford Academy MI BB- Stable Negative Stabilization in financial flexibility and improved operating performance.
Palmetto Scholars Academy SC BB+ CWN Stable DSC covenant violation expected for fiscal 2022 combined with short-term uncertainties regarding potential bondholder action.
River Springs Charter Schools CA BB Positive Stable Improved liquidity, combined with growing enrollment, positive operations and good coverage.
Scuola Vita Nuova Charter School MO BB+ Positive Stable Enrollment growth after expansion, supporting improved MADS and liquidity.
Somerset Academy of Las Vegas§ NV BB Stable Positive Despite improving operations, growing enrollment and a recent four-year charter renewal, limited upside due to ongoing designation for academic weakness at four of its campuses.
Tapestry Charter School NY BB+ Positive Stable Strengthening financial profile, including improved operating performance and cash position.
TEAM Academy Charter School† NJ BBB Stable Negative Steady enrollment increases and improved operating results supporting successful growth in its series 2021 bond issuance.
Texas Leadership Charter Academy TX BB Positive Stable Strengthening financial profile, including growth of unrestricted reserves and a sustained trend of positive operating performance, with projections of continued maintenance at similar levels through the outlook.
Utah Charter Academies Inc. UT BBB- Stable Negative Multiyear trend of improved operating performance translating to healthier MADS coverage and growing liquidity position.
Victory Charter School ID BBB- Positive Stable Track record of exceptional margins, MADS coverage, and overall financial flexibility despite cash funding certain facility improvements. 
West Philadelphia Achievement Charter Elementary School PA BB- Negative CW Negative Continued uncertainty around charter renewal decision timeframe with the School District of Philadelphia.
MADS--Maximum annual debt service. DCOH--Days' cash on hand. DSC--Debt service coverage. *Includes both obligated groups for ICEF; the series 2013 (ICEF View Park Preparatory High School) and series 2014 (ICEF View Park Preparatory Elementary and Middle Schools). §Includes both obligated groups for Somerset Academy of Las Vegas: the series 2015 & 2018 obligated group and the series 2019 & 2021 obligated group. †Includes both Friends of Team Academy and Ashland School Inc. as borrowers on the series 2013, 2018, and 2021 bonds.

Table 5

Charter Schools Maintained Ratings
Institution State Rating Outlook
21st Century Charter School IN B+ Stable
Academia Cesar Chavez MN BB Stable
Academic Leadership Charter School NY BBB- Stable
Academies of Math and Science AZ BB+ Stable
Advanced Technology Academy MI BB+ Stable
Albany Leadership Academy NY BB Stable
Albert Einstein Academies CA BB Stable
Albuquerque School of Excellence NM BB Stable
Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools CA BBB Stable
Alliance Gertz Ressler Richard Merkin 6-12 Complex CA BBB- Stable
Alliance Patti and Peter Neuwirth Leadership Academy CA BBB- Stable
American Charter Schools Foundation AZ BB+ Stable
American Heritage Education Foundation CA BBB- Negative
American Leadership Academy UT BBB Stable
Arizona School for the Arts AZ BB+ Stable
Arlington Classics Academy TX BBB- Stable
Aspen Ridge Preparatory School CO BB Stable
Austin Achieve Public Schools TX BBB- Stable
Austin Achieve Public Schools TX BBB- Stable
Avon Grove Charter School PA BBB- Stable
Avondale Meadows Academy IN BB Stable
Bay Haven Charter Academy FL BBB Stable
Ben Franklin Academy CO BBB- Stable
Berean Academy AZ BB Stable
Blackstone Valley Prep RI BB+ Stable
Brighter Choice Elementary Charter Schools NY BB+ Stable
Brilla Public Charter Schools NY BB+ Stable
Brookside Charter School MO BB Stable
Caliber Public Schools CA BBB- Stable
Campus Community School DE BBB- Stable
Candeo Schools, Inc. AZ BBB- Stable
Carolina International School NC BB+ Stable
Castle Rock Lifelong Learning Ctr. CO BBB Stable
Center for Academic Success AZ BBB Stable
Cesar Chavez Academy MI BB+ Stable
Channing Hall Charter School UT BB Stable
Chester Charter Scholars Academy Charter School PA BB+ Stable
Chicago Charter School Foundation IL BBB Stable
Choice Academies AZ BB Stable
Citizens of the World Charter School - Los Angeles CA BB- Stable
Classical Academy Charter School CO BBB Stable
Classical Academy, Inc. CA BBB- Stable
Collegium Charter School PA BB Stable
Cologne Academy MN BB+ Stable
Community of Peace Charter School MN BBB- Stable
Compass Academy Charter School Inc. TX BBB- Stable
Compass Public Charter School ID BB Stable
Conner Creek Academy MI B Stable
Coral Academy of Science-Las Vegas NV BBB- Stable
Creative Montessori Academy MI BBB- Stable
DaVinci Academy of Science & The Arts UT BBB- Stable
Dayspring Academy for Education and Arts FL BB Stable
DCS Montessori Charter School CO BBB- Stable
Discovery Charter School PA BB+ Stable
Discovery Charter School IN BB- Stable
District of Columbia International School DC BBB Stable
Dr. Joseph F. Pollack Academic Center of Excellence MI BB Stable
Duluth Edison Charter Schools (Tischer Creek Duluth Building Co.) MN BB+ Stable
Eagle Advantage Schools TX BB+ Stable
Eagle Ridge Academy CO BBB- Stable
Early Light Academy UT BB Stable
Edkey Inc. AZ BB- Stable
Educational Properties TCGIS LLC MN BB Stable
Equitas Academy CA BB+ Stable
Evergreen Charter School NY BB Stable
Evolution Academy Charter School TX B+ Stable
Excel Academy Charter School CO BBB- Stable
Explore Knowledge Foundation NV BB+ Stable
Fenton Charter Public Schools CA BB+ Stable
First Philadelphia Preparatory Charter School PA BB+ Stable
First State Montessori DE BBB- Stable
Foundation Academy Charter School NJ BBB- Stable
Founders Classical Academy NV BB- Stable
Foxborough Regional Charter School MA BBB- Stable
Freedom Academy AZ BB+ Stable
Frontier Academy CO BBB- Stable
George Washington Academy UT BBB- Stable
Global Academy ABC MN BB Stable
Global Concepts Charter School NY BBB+ Stable
Global Leadership Academy Charter School PA BB- Stable
Grand Traverse Academy MI BB Stable
Green Dot Public Schools CA BBB- Stable
Green Dot Public Schools CA BBB- Stable
Grimmway Schools CA BB+ Stable
Hawthorn Academy UT BBB Stable
Hennepin Schools Building Co. MN BB- Stable
High School for Recording Arts MN B Stable
Higher Ground Academy MN BB+ Stable
Hmong American Peace Academy WI BBB Stable
Hmong Education Reform Company MN BB+ Negative
Horizon Community Learning Center AZ BB+ Stable
Hughen Center Inc. TX BBB- Stable
Idaho Arts Charter School ID BBB- Stable
IDEA Public Schools TX A- Negative
Idea Public Schools TX A- Negative
Independence Academy CO BBB- Stable
Itineris Early College High School UT BB Stable
James Irwin Charter Academy CO BBB Stable
John Adams Academies CA BB Stable
John Adams Academies CA BB Stable
Julian Charter School CA B+ Stable
Kaleidoscope Charter School MN BB- Stable
King Chavez Academies CA BB+ Stable
KIPP Albany NY BBB- Stable
KIPP North Star Academy MN BB- Stable
KIPP Northern California Schools CA BBB Stable
KIPP NYC - Gerard NY BBB- Stable
KIPP NYC - Jerome NY BBB- Stable
KIPP NYC - Macombs NY BBB- Stable
KIPP Philadelphia PA BB+ Stable
KIPP Texas TX BBB+ Stable
Lake Norman Charter School NC BBB- Stable
Lakes International Language Academy MN BB+ Stable
Lakeview Academy UT BBB- Stable
Landmark Academy MI BB Stable
LEAP Academy University Charter School NJ BB- Stable
Learning Choice Academy CA BBB- Stable
Life School of Dallas TX BBB- Stable
Lifeline Education Charter School CA BB+ Stable
Lincoln Academy CO BBB- Stable
Literacy First Charter School CA BBB- Stable
Little Scholars of Arkansas (LISA) Academy AR BB+ Stable
Mater Academy FL BBB Stable
Mater Academy of Nevada NV BB Positive
Memphis Rise Academy TN BBB- Stable
Michigan Mathematics and Science Academy MI BB+ Stable
Mountain Island Charter School Inc. NC BBB- Stable
Mountainville Academy UT BBB- Stable
Navigator Pointe Academy UT BBB- Stable
Newark Charter School Inc. DE BBB+ Stable
Noah Webster Academy UT BBB- Stable
Noah Webster Basic Schools, Inc. AZ BB Stable
Noble Network of Charter Schools IL BBB Stable
North Star Academy UT BBB- Stable
North Star Academy Charter School of Newark - 18th St. Ave. LLC NJ BBB- Stable
North Star Academy Charter School of Newark - NSA 377 Washington St. LLC NJ BBB- Stable
Nova Academy CA BB Stable
Nova Classical Academy MN BB+ Stable
Oakland International Academy MI BBB- Stable
Odyssey Academy TX BB Stable
Odyssey Preparatory Academy AZ BB- Positive
Ogden Preparatory Academy UT BBB- Stable
Ogden Preparatory Academy UT BBB- Stable
Orenda Education TX BBB- Stable
Palm Beach School for Autism Inc. FL BB+ Stable
Palmetto Scholars Academy SC BB+ Stable
Paradise Schools AZ BB+ Stable
Paramount School of Excellence IN BB+ Stable
Paterson Charter School for Science and Technology NJ BB Positive
Peak to Peak Charter School - Prairie View CO BBB+ Stable
Pensar Academy AZ BB- Stable
Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School PA BB+ Stable
Pine Lake Preparatory NC BBB- Stable
Pinecrest Academy, Inc. FL BBB Stable
Pinnacle Charter School CO BBB- Stable
Plymouth Educational Center Charter School MI D N/A
Prairie Seeds Academy MN BB- Stable
Propel Schools - Braddock Hills PA BB+ Negative
Quest Academy UT BBB- Stable
Renaissance Academy Charter School PA BBB- Stable
Responsive Education Foundation TX BBB Positive
Richfield Public School Academy MI BBB- Stable
River Charter Schools CA BB Stable
River Springs Charter Schools CA BB Positive
Riverhead Charter School NY BBB- Stable
Riverwalk Education Foundation Inc. TX BBB- Stable
Riverwalk Education Foundation Inc. TX BBB- Stable
Rocklin Academy CA BB+ Stable
Sage International School of Boise ID BB+ Stable
Saginaw Preparatory Academy MI B Stable
Santa Rosa Academy Inc. CA BB+ Stable
Sarasota School of Arts and Sciences FL BBB- Stable
School Lane Charter School PA BBB- Stable
Sculptor Charter School FL BBB- Stable
Ser-Ninos Charter School TX BBB- Stable
SkyView Academy CO BB Stable
Southwest Preparatory School TX BB+ Stable
Spectrum High School MN BB+ Stable
Springfield International Charter School MA BBB- Stable
St. Croix Preparatory Academy MN BB+ Stable
St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists MN BB Stable
Star International Academy MI BBB Stable
Summit Academy UT BBB- Stable
Summit Academy North MI BB Stable
Tacony Academy PA BB+ Stable
The Charter School for Applied Technologies NY BBB Stable
The Hughen Center TX BBB- Stable
The Palmdale Aerospace Academy CA BB Stable
Tipton Academy MI BB Stable
Triad Educational Services NC BBB- Stable
Trillium Academy MI BB Stable
Trinity Basin Preparatory TX BBB Stable
Trinity Basin Preparatory TX BBB Stable
Twin Cities Academy MN BB Negative
Universal Academy MI BBB- Stable
Universal Learning Academy MI BB+ Stable
Uplift Education Inc. TX BBB- Stable
Venture Academy UT BBB- Stable
Villa Montessori AZ BBB- Stable
Wasatch Peak Academy UT BB+ Positive
Wayside Schools TX BB Stable
Winfree Academy Charter Schools TX BB- Stable
Woodbury Leadership Academy MN BB- Stable
Xavier Public Charter School ID BBB Stable
Yinghua Academy MN BB+ Stable

Related Research

This report does not constitute a rating action.

Primary Credit Analysts:Jessica L Wood, Chicago + 1 (312) 233 7004;
Avani K Parikh, New York + 1 (212) 438 1133;
Secondary Contact:Ryan Miller, Dallas +1 2148711408;

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