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Chester County Press

Bond refinancing could save Oxford Area School District up to $250,000

09/04/2019 07:47AM ● By J. Chambless

By Steven Hoffman
Staff Writer

The Oxford Area School District could soon be refinancing some of its outstanding debt to take advantage of favorable municipal bond rates.

Representatives from the PFM Group and RBC Group, two firms that serve as consultants to the school district on bond issues, were on hand to discuss the refinancing some of the school district’s existing debt. The school district could get more favorable interest rates on the debt, which would present the one-time opportunity to save a significant amount—perhaps between $240,000 and $250,000—on future debt service payments. The school district would have the option of keeping the payment schedule exactly the same as it is now, or pay down the debt more quickly, which would boost how much could be saved. A parameters resolution could be on the school board’s agenda at a September meeting, and the amount the district could save will be determined at the time the refinancing takes place.

In his report to the school board, superintendent David Woods noted that Oxford Area High School had been awarded with the PIAA Sportsmanship Award for District 1.

“This is special,” Woods said, explaining that the high school was selected for this honor because the school’s athletes made a positive impression on the other member schools in District 1. The superintendent congratulated high school principal James Canaday and athletic director Michael Price for their leadership.

Steve Roberts, the president of the Oxford Educational Foundation, reported that, for the 2018-2019 school year, volunteers with the organization spent 3,768 hours tutoring and helping students in the Oxford Area School District. That’s a 13-percent increase over the previous year.

By placing a dollar value on the hours that were spent mentoring, tutoring, or teaching, Roberts said, all those volunteer hours amounted to more than $80,000 of value to the students in the school district.

“We’re going to set a higher goal for the coming year,” Roberts said.

Dr. Margaret Billings-Jones, the district’s assistant superintendent, shared that nearly 500 Oxford students participated in the various summer school programs, including extended school year classes and free summer academies that the district offered. The school district also partnered with the Oxford Library for the summer reading program. Billings-Jones thanked the library for their support for this program.

Twenty-six teachers and staff members participated in the new teacher induction on Monday, Aug. 19, Billings-Jones reported. The school district collaborated with a number of different community organizations to help the new teachers get acclimated to not just the school district, but the Oxford community.

In his Legislative Council report, school board member Dr. Eric Owens, recapped the passage of the state budget for the next fiscal year. Owens noted that the state budget included modest funding increases for public education.

The Oxford School Board will meet again for a work session on Tuesday, Sept. 10 and for a regular meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 17. Both meetings will begin at 7 p.m. in the Administration Building.

To contact Staff Writer Steven Hoffman, email editor @ chestercounty .com.