A good place to start is http://www.greatschools.net - the link for Fort Lauderdale schools is .
From there review the schools that match your criteria for education at face value and according the rating the school(s) receive.
As for the neighborhood, several Fort Lauderdale neighborhoods offer a different vibe - Wilton Manors, Bayview, Croissant Park and Victoria Park are good varying examples, but many more are out there. Good news is, the commute around town is easy, if you should decide to put your child/children into a private school thus negating the need to be in a neighborhood with a particular school in its district.
Now, regarding what you may or may not know about Fort Lauderdale - are you asking about the Fort Lauderdale area or the city itself? Regardless, Broward County has a lot to offer families - with area schools for consideration: University Lower School, Candil Jacaranda (Montessori), Parkway Christian in Southwest Ranches and Weston public schools receive accolades every year.
I sure would like to know a little more about what you mean by funky - cozy, artsy, beach side? - locating the schools is easy with a bit more info. My email firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 954-612-0083.
I agree with Caroline who happens to be my manager at EWM Realtors located in Fort Lauderdale. Like our owner Warren Buffet we keep updated on the market conditions on a daily basis and provide our clients with the best customer service! Along with Victoria Park I would recomend the community of Sailboat Bend! Sailboat Bend has a very Islandy feel yet is still located downtown! The new river gently rolls through the community and joins up with the intercoastel. There are many great deals there now and I will be showing some homes there tomorrow. The area also features good schools and great quality of life. I wish you and your family the best of luck in your search and I would be happy to help you with your search for your new home! Please feel free to call me anytime direct 954-295-4734.
As far as neighborhoods that are cool and funky, I'd go with Victoria Park or Wilton Manors. We're very familiar with homes in those areas and would be delighted to work with you. If you let me have some more criteria, I could send you some homes to get you started. We pride ourselves on making your home buying into a pleasant, stress-free experience.
Very best of luck to you,
Glad to hear you are looking to buy. A few questions where in Fort Lauderdale, how much are looking to spend, how many bedroom do you need?
You can call me at 954-993-4104 or email me at jeannette@Neerpat.com. Look forward to working with you.