Economy & Jobs

4 Best Places to Raise a Family in Florida

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When you’re looking for the best places to raise a family in Florida, there are a number of factors you should consider, including the school system, job opportunities, and the cost of living. Florida Governor Rick Scott is trying to entice employers to relocate jobs to Florida from states such as Pennsylvania and California, and this movement could create a plethora of future job opportunities for you. With this optimistic situation in mind, here are four of the best places to put roots down in Florida.

1. Oviedo
Oviedo has one of the highest-ranking school systems in all of Florida and has elected officials who make family-friendly living their primary focus. The city’s Recreation and Parks Department works hard to offer something for every member of the family. It has implemented new policies to keep parks open on Sundays, established a state-of-the-art skate park and a BMX bicycle course, and built a 40-foot climbing wall for the more adventurous types. It also hosts various leagues for children, including swimming, football, and lacrosse. But sports and outdoor activities aren’t the only reason Oviedo ranks high for families: Oviedo boasts one of Florida’s highest graduation rates and scored highest in standardized testing in 2012. A strong sense of community and academic excellence describe this city.

2. Lake Mary
Lake Mary is a growing town that manages to keep a small-town feel. This makes it a great hometown for parents who need financially supportive jobs but also want their children to grow up in a place that has a strong sense of community. Lake Mary is adding many jobs in the technology industry, which is especially advantageous in terms of encouraging children to study math and science. The town maintains a GreatSchools rating of 8 out of 10, which is above average.

3. Winter Springs
Winter Springs sports a combination of great academics, opportunities for social interaction, and easy access to many entertainment venues, which makes it a great place to live and raise kids. The city is only a 30-minute drive from Orlando, where families can go for entertainment and fun. Winter Springs also boasts four out of five elementary schools that scored an “A” on standardized testing, along with two high-ranked colleges nearby: University of Central Florida and Seminole State College. About 87 percent of the city is devoted to residential living, meaning that the town is home to many families, which provides a strong sense of community. Meanwhile, almost 90 percent of workers are employed in white-collar jobs. This is a great hometown option for families who want to provide their children with job opportunities that are close to home.

4. Jupiter
Jupiter is a small family town that focuses on the environment. The air quality is high and the city is invested in “living green.” It’s also home to the Jupiter Seafood Festival, which consists of three days of music, food, and family fun. The town also has a 65,000-square-foot community center that’s a gathering place for parties and community events. The town also boasts an excellent public school system that GreatSchools ranks 9 out of 10.

With Gov. Scott’s plan for job development well in place, Florida has the potential to become more than just a travel destination. Aside from its inviting weather, the Sunshine State has a strong economy and is buzzing with job opportunities. Best of all, that state collects no personal income tax, allowing you to save a little extra with each paycheck. So if you’re on the hunt for the best places to raise a family in Florida, add these four cities to your list.