Danedri Thompson
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Gardner and Spring Hill rank among the top places in Kansas for young families, according to a study by Nerd Wallet.com. The internet number crunchers considered public school excellence, home affordability and growth and prosperity in its analysis.
Spring Hill ranked second and Gardner ranked fifth in Nerd Wallet’s study of top places for young families.
Nerd Wallet researchers gathered data from a website that compares students’ test scores and other statewide data to determine the best public schools. Using U.S. Census data, researchers weighed median home values with monthly homeownership costs to determine home affordability. They assessed a community’s median household incomes and its long-term growth to determine prosperity.
The study noted that most top cities had highways nearby and city projects in the works.
Spring Hill placed second behind Andover, Kan., a Wichita suburb. The survey notes, “(Spring Hill) has become a thriving metropolis along U.S. Highway 169.” It noted that USD 230 boasts a low student-to-teacher ratio and early college credit courses through Johnson County Community College. Median income in the community increased more than 60 percent between 1999 and 2012.
Gardner landed in fifth place behind Andover, Spring Hill, Mulvane and Hays.
Researchers noted that Gardner “works hard to keep its small town feel,” and recognized projects to improve sidewalks and the recent opening of Trail Ridge Middle School. It also made mention of Celebration Park and several playgrounds.
Eudora, Abilene, Arkansas City, De Soto and Overland Park rounded out the top 10 list of best places for young families in Kansas. To view the study and full results, visit www.nerdwallet.com.