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Improved credit for Magnolia schools opens door for expansion

Vanessa Romo | June 24, 2015

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Magnolia-Charter-schools-2Just one year after LA Unified attempted to shut down two of Magnolia Public Schools campuses over fiscal mismanagement, the embattled organization received a positive credit rating from Standard & Poor’s.

The largest credit agency in the country lifted Magnolia’s rating to BB and revised its outlook from “negative” to “stable.”

“This is wonderful news for us that means we’ll be able to serve more students and get access to more resources,” Caprice Young, CEO of Magnolia, told LA School Report. Young took over the troubled network of schools in January.

Magnolia operates eight schools in LA Unified and another three elsewhere in California. It plans to use its new borrowing power to buy facilities for schools that currently lease space from local school districts and to expand existing campuses.

“In the immediate future we want to get into facilities that will allow all of our existing schools to grow above 400 students,” Young said. “Because that will allow us those schools to become financially stable.”

At the top of the list for improvements are Magnolia Science Academy 1 in Reseda and another in San Diego.

“Both of those schools have long waiting lists,” Young said.

The school board voted on March 10 to renew two Magnolia charters whose renewal the members had rescinded last year as well as one charter whose renewal they had denied and to settle a lawsuit filed by Magnolia subsequent to the denials of the schools in 2014.

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