Agency reinstates Belen Schools' bond rating

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A recent trip to Texas resulted in good news for the Belen Consolidated School District.

After a plea to Moody's Investors Service earlier this month, the credit rating agency reinstated the district's A-1 bond rating.

Belen Board of Education President Sam Chavez made the announcement of the district's improved rating at a board meeting earlier this month. At that same meeting, the board voted to sell $13,250,000 in bonds to pay for construction projects around the district.

Chavez said he, George Perea, the district's business and finance director, and David Carter, the district's support services director and a Belen city councilor, met with representatives from Moody's to explain the district's two years of bad audits.

"George and David did a great job," Chavez said. "They had all they information and statistics. I went as the 'fluff.' Because of them, we got the best rating we could."

The bonds will be repaid at an interest rate of 3.2676 percent.

In other business, the board:

• Unanimously approved a professional services agreement with June Romero, owner of Education Services, to conduct and preside over student discipline hearings.

Superintendent Ron Marquez said the rate of $60 per hour was not an increase to last year's contract.

• Unanimously approved out-of-state travel for Joann Carter and Theresa Blythe to the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships national conference in Florida, Oct. 19 to 22.

Carter said attending the conference would begin the district's process of becoming accredited by NACEP.

Becoming accredited allows the district's higher education partner, the University of New Mexico-Valencia Campus, to determine whether high school teachers are qualified to teach concurrent enrollment classes at the high school for college credit without the oversight of a college instructor. Total estimated cost of the trip is $4,061.

• Unanimously approved removing old and unusable band instruments from the district's inventory list so the instruments can be traded in for new ones.

• Unanimously approved a memorandum of understanding with New Mexico Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement, Inc. (MESA) outlining the district's commitments to the program and what MESA will provide in return.


-- Email the author at jdendinger@news-bulletin.com.