Moody’s downgrades Chicago school and park district ratings

CHICAGO (AP) — One day after downgrading Chicago bond rating to junk status, Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the debt of both the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Park District to junk status.

Moody’s on Tuesday, downgraded the city’s debt rating on bond issues backed by property, sales and fuel tax revenue to Ba1, one notch below investment grade, from Baa2.

On Wednesday, Moody’s gave a Ba3 rating to CPS debt, saying the district faces “increased strain on its precarious financial position” due to last week’s Illinois Supreme Court decision overturning state pension reform.

Moody’s tied the reduction of the park district’s rating to Ba1 to the district’s “governance ties to the city of Chicago.”

Interim CPS CEO Jesse Ruiz says Moody’s action reaffirms why the district must address its financial crisis.