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School Bond Guarantee Program
The School Bond Guarantee Program provides credit enhancement to voter-approved general obligation (GO) bonds issued by school districts. The program provides savings to state taxpayers by pledging the full faith and credit of the state to the payment of voter-approved school district GO bonds. This provides the bonds with the state's strong credit rating.
The program is authorized in chapter 39.98 RCW. The administrative rules are found in WAC 210-02.
School Bonds totaling over $15.6 billion have been guaranteed by the program. The state's independent financial advisor estimated in November 2013 that the program saves taxpayers around $10 million annually. The state has not been called upon to pay debt service on any school debt.
As of March 3, 2014:
- Number of school districts with outstanding bonds guaranteed by program: 174
- Number of bond issues guaranteed by program that have outstanding balances: 479
- Aggregate total principal amount outstanding on bond issues guaranteed: $8,493,015,447.35
During its 1999 Session, the Washington State Legislature passed Senate Joint Resolution 8206, effectively creating a Washington State school district credit enhancement program. The approved legislation carries two components: 1) a constitutional amendment to clarify that the state is pledging its full faith and credit to bonds issued under the program; and 2) implementing language for the guarantee program. Since the program authorization required a constitutional amendment, the proposed law was submitted to a vote of the electorate. Washington voters passed the constitutional amendment in November 1999 by a vote of 60% to 40%.
The School Bond Guarantee Program was developed under the direction of the State Treasurer. The Treasurer convened an Advisory Group to assist in legal drafting, policy discussions and legislative strategy. The Advisory Group included staff members from the Office of the State Treasurer, statewide school district representatives, assistant attorney general, bond lawyers and financial advisors.
School Bonds Issued Under Program (as of December 31, 2013):
- How to apply — Washington Administrative Code and Application Form
- School Bond Guarantee Application
- Continuing Disclosure Certificate
- Program Description for POS/OS in Word
- Program Description for POS/OS in PDF
- Checklist for School Bond Guarantee Application
- Qualified School Districts
- Bonds Issued Under the Program