Cranford to have bond referendum on Jan. 23, 2024

CRANFORD, NJ — The Cranford Public Schools Board of Education unanimously voted on Monday night, Nov. 13, to proceed with a bond referendum on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, aimed at improving the infrastructure of the district’s eight schools to align with the community’s high standards for education.

If approved by Cranford’s voters, the $75 million bond referendum would fund much-needed projects, including space to accommodate full-day kindergarten for all students, modernization of the district’s facilities to better suit 21st-century learning and overall infrastructure needs for the schools. State aid would cover 26% of the project costs and help minimize the local tax impact.

“Investing in our schools is an important way to invest in our whole community – people move to Cranford for the great schools and community life,” said Superintendent Scott Rubin. “The bond referendum will help us improve our schools to give our current and future students and residents places where they can thrive academically and socially.”

The bond proposal comes after years of careful planning, in which the Board of Education led a town-wide survey, formed a citizen steering committee, and held listening sessions to make sure residents had a voice in the referendum process.
The proposed projects include:

• Kindergarten classrooms would provide much-needed space for full-day kindergarten. Currently, the district has only three classes of full-day kindergarten, which are tuition-based and awarded through a lottery system. The proposal includes bringing free, full-day kindergarten to all four elementary schools by constructing 16 total classrooms. Cranford is one of only a handful of districts in the state that does not offer free, full-day kindergarten.

• District enhancements would provide updated science labs, modernized multimedia centers that support 21st Century STEM programs, renovated performing arts spaces and dedicated space for culinary and eSports programs.

• Facility upgrades and improvements include air conditioning installation in large common spaces in our schools, upgraded electrical services, improved accessibility and other repairs districtwide.

• Cranford Public Schools has strategically planned for its bond referendum by proposing projects that qualify for state aid — 26% of the $75 million in project costs. That means, if Cranford voters approve the referendum, the state will contribute $19.6 million. The owner of an average assessed home in Cranford — $185,824 — would pay an estimated $34 per month.

“Our schools are well-maintained, but nothing withstands the march of time,” said Board of Education President Kurt Petschow. “With the benefit of state aid, we can make long-term investments in our school buildings and protect these community assets so that students and residents can enjoy them for decades more.”

The district invites the community to attend a Virtual Community Forum on Thursday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m. Community members will hear from district leaders and the financial and architectural advisers who led the planning for the bond referendum, and then be able to ask questions. Visit the bond referendum website for the Zoom link and view a recording available afterward.

Additionally, the district will host an in-person Open House on Thursday, Jan. 4, at 7 p.m., at the Cranford High School’s lower gym. This event will welcome the community into the schools to receive further information on the referendum.

The Jan. 23 vote is crucial to the future of Cranford Public Schools and gives the community a voice. The district will continue to make every effort to engage with the entire community leading up to the vote.

Visit for more details on the proposed projects for each school, frequently asked questions, and voter and financial information. For questions directly related to the referendum, email [email protected].