Denver Public Schools Sells First Portion of 2020 General Obligation Bonds

students sitting in newly constructed reading nooks

In November of 2020, Denver voters approved a ballot initiative of $795 million in bonds to support the capital and facility needs for Denver students.  The measure was approved with over 78% support from Denver voters.  On Jan. 7, 2021 DPS sold the first portion of general obligation bonds approved by Denver voters in 2020.  The sale resulted in $551 million in proceeds deposited to the DPS Bond Program Project Fund.  The interest rate for the district is 2.2% and the bonds are scheduled to be repaid over 25 years.

The funds will be used to complete projects recommended by DPS Board of Education and the Community Planning and Advisory Committee and approved by voters— including critical maintenance updates, new capacity projects, quality learning environments and technology and safety needs. 

Through the financing preparation process, the district’s bond rating was maintained at its historically high levels by Fitch, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s Corporation. In the rating report, Moody’s Investor services noted the “very large and rapidly growing tax base,” “favorable location serving the epicenter of economic activity in the state,” and “strong financial management and stable reserves” as the reasons for the strength of the credit.  

The remaining bond authorization will be issued when those funds are needed for completion of the projects scheduled in 2-3 years.  Waiting to issue the bonds closer to when the funds are needed for those projects will save Denver taxpayers from paying interest on those funds before they are needed.