Good morning. For an easy commute into South Station and good schools and a Brooline-like feel, your best bet will be Newton. The commuter rail goes into Back Bay/South Station, you also keep the Green Line access that you have in Brookline as an alternative. Many other of the towns suggested that are north have trains that go into North Station, and that would add significant time to your commute. Depending on how agreeable you are to doing work on a place, and perhaps looking at a condo, there are numerous properties in your price range. Newton does cover a large geographic area, and the various neighborhoods do feel different, so explore a bit. If you could get near Newton Center, that is probably closest to feeling like Brookline, but other parts of Newton offer a lot too.
A second runner up would be Needham. The commuter rail is available (but no other train lines). You have more limited choices in terms of location - you would be best off near Needham Center for the feel that you want. However, there may be opportunities there. It would be worth a visit and checking out if you are not familiar with it. Great food of all sorts, a variety of store, even a six lane candlepin bowling alley in a basement!
Best of luck in the hunt! If you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Showpiece Real Estate, Inc.
Serving Newton, Wellesley, Needham, Weston, Jamaica Plain, Westwood