ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Finances in the Rockford Public School District are looking up. A recent increased credit rating is allowing the district to put more money towards improving deteriorating school buildings.
An increased bond rating has allowed the district to sell $100 million dollars in bonds, which is most of the money voters approved in a referendum on the November ballot.
Tonight school board members approved the bond sale but all the orders were filled earlier today to investors from all over the U.S., including JP Morgan and local investor Alpine Bank.
The bonds will help fix all school buildings over a ten year period. The higher credit score means a lower interest rate, saving the district $3.4 million dollars to be used on more improvements.
"It gives us more contingency if we want to do some other things with the schools, if we want to add some more classrooms, put some more air conditioning in there, more security systems, classroom furniture, we can do so much more with this funding," said Chief Operations Officer Todd Schmidt.
The district will receive the bonds on April 3rd and bids for work will also go out that week. Building construction will start once school gets out. The remaining $39 million in bonds will be sold at a later date.
Also tonight, the school board discussed the contract for soon-to-be superintendent Ehren Jarrett, who will take over in July. Jarrett is slated to make $210,000 a year which is what the past few superintendents have made.
Current Interim Superintendent Dr. Robert Willis makes $225,000 annually. Willis says he gets the extra $15,000 since he doesn't take health insurance through the district.
Jarrett currently makes $135,000 as an assistant superintendent. The board is expected to vote on Jarrett's contract at their next meeting in two weeks.