Wife and I (non BR native) are looking in same price range and looking to start a family. We've been looking for a few months and have watched closely. The one thing that really stuck out to me when viewing homes was that the houses in bad "public" elementary school districts have stayed on the market for months, and not a one of those kept asking price up for very long. Viewing these houses, everyone clearly had kids age 1-5ish. Thats pretty damn coincidental. The homes in Shenandoah & Parkview sell within weeks if asking price is normal and nothing unusual is wrong with the house.
Whether you choose private or public, (resale of) houses in that price ranges, in my opinion, are heavily influenced by the school district. I would tell your friend/wife to research schools in EBR and to look up attendance zones here: LINK
I believe some of the boundaries are getting shifted for 2014, but I have no info at the moment.
My opinion of Springlake (was first neighborhood heavily suggested to us, so we looked a lot): Buyer beware. It is a sidewalked neighborhood of good size with rec area, and the homes are the more modern "open" plans with garages... and thats about as far as it gets. I could tell a lot of the houses were not under contract when built, which means construction was overseen by builder alone (the one trying to maximize profit margin). Cheap/quick construction was the name of the game I'm afraid. Many of the homes are cookie cutter, exact same as the neighbor. A lot of the A/C units are grossly undersized and the absolute cheapest on the market. Roofing appeared to be sub par as well. Even my wife (completely home/construction ignorant) says that she can tell the homes we're looking at built in 70/80s, feel like they are built better than the Springlake homes. Also about the area around Springlake: the Casino right down the street is sink or swim. It was supposed to bring in a new Walmart and it would bring other retailers that would bring up the area. The casino is now open and not only owes money to contractors/vendors/etc, but is late making payments when it does. Hopefully that isnt a sign of things to come. Also, the casino has driven away the average Christian middle aged white couple. Call that what you will, but it has in my opinion, hurt resale. Also, there is a ton of new construction going up next to Springlake, but from what I can tell, they are micro lots with tiny crammed together houses/townhomes/apartments. It is just too risky.