ATLANTA -- Moody's Investors Service said yesterday that certain bonds of local school districts in Georgia that participate in the state's "default avoidance" program would receive an automatic A1 rating.

Moody's has programs guaranteeing school district debt ratings in five other states: Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Texas. In each case, a participating school district permits the state to hold back aid appropriated to it in order to cover debt-service shortfalls, if necessary.

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