Great questions Jennifer,
Everyones opinion will of course be relative to how they personally feel or from statistics that they have researched. From my perspective Spokane is a fabulous place to raise your family and educate them. We have 15 public school districts ,k-12 within 25 miles of Spokane. Two private colleges, Gonzaga and Whitworth College( has masters degree programs) Spokane Falls Community College gives a 2 year Associates degree with Spokane Community giving technical degrees in lots of great areas. Eastern Washington University with 4 year and masters programs, some classes available at Spokane Campus and in the evening. WSU Spokane campus as well. We are even now adding a medical school to that campus. Some Spokane families home school their children as well and get support materials from the public school systems, privately or through religious institutions.
All large cities of course have their crime problems and none of them are perfect not even Spokane.there are numberous websites that address that issue.
My experience for the past 60 years of living in this area has been positive. We have raised 7 children here 6, of whom are working professionals raising their families in Spokane area.
For the past 26 of those years as a full time RE broker. I have helped a lot of individuals and families find wonderful areas to live based on their preferences and needs. Spokane has a thriving medical community that provides a large bulk of our employment opportunites. 5 large metro hospitals. Spokane Valley has Spokane industrial park with 120 resident companies employing in excess of 4,500 people. Sales and service jobs are also available through out the area. Please contact me through my website link if you have any questions that I can answer more specifically for you. Thank You, Ronda Deakins