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adminbldgA global credit-rating agency has lowered the Cleveland schools’ long-term outlook from stable to negative.

Fitch Ratings left intact a BBB+ rating on two series of general-obligation bonds but cited a “need for significant changes to align spending with available revenues.” Union contract negotiations, now under way, will be critical to cutting costs, the agency said.

The negative outlook, as it is called, is the agency’s perception of the school district’s finances. The outlook will be reviewed annually, said Melanie Shaker, Fitch’s director of Midwest public finance. The shrinking enrollment of the Cleveland schools, the lack of a new school levy to bring extra money, and the unclear future of state and federal funds were factors in determining the outlook.

Story compliments of Cleveland.com

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