In comparing the cities of New Braunfels, Texas and Las Vegas, Nevada, it is necessary to analyze the school systems, including private and magnet schools, the cost of living, crime rates and more, especially in regard to individuals with children living there. There are several factors that go into deciding whether or not a city is suitable for family life and raising children and as each individual’s needs, wants and preferences are different, there must be serious and intentional evaluation. Both cities are relatively the same in terms of cost of living, safety, and levels of crime, but there are also inherent differences that present when it comes to comparing a large city known for tourism and adult behavior versus a small Texas suburb.

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The cost of living between the two cities is fairly similar, with increases in Las Vegas, Nevada largely being indicative of its larger size and population. Bankrate.com’s cost of living comparison calculator indicates that with an average salary of $50,000, one would have to make $61,970 in order to maintain the current standard of living. Home prices, payment and interest, rent and energy costs are slightly cheaper than living in New Braunfels, Texas, with mortgage rates, total energy costs and electric costs being, on average, about a quarter percent higher in Las Vegas. Given that Las Vegas is a larger city than New Braunfels, there are more employment opportunities in the former than the latter. The primary industries within Las Vegas are tourism, conventions and gaming, and retail and restaurants, each of which are interrelated. The valley is the leading cultural and financial center for the entire state of Nevada. In New Braunfels, which is right outside of San Antonio, a major city in Texas, the main industries are retail, health care and accommodation services. New Braunfels employs around 34,000 people (“New Braunfels, TX”), while Las Vegas employs more than 300,000 people.

Despite the reputation that Las Vegas holds for gambling and adult activity, the city is also family-friendly and reinforces the values of family life that enables individuals and their children to thrive. The economy is of Las Vegas outside of gambling and casinos. Population growth to the area is booming and the city is expecting even more growth with the construction of Las Vegas Stadium, the future home of the Las Vegas Raiders of the National Football League (NFL). The Las Vegas Convention Center is also facing growth with a 1.4 million square feet expansion of the space (DeLancey, 2019). Alongside gambling, the hospitality industry is continually booming, and with the convention center and football stadium coming to Vegas, there is great opportunity for consistent employment, which is better for stability financially and otherwise for families. New attractions and new products and services bring economic growth to the region in terms of visitors and tourists as well as the demand to serve them. While a small town is just as efficient in supporting families such as in New Braunfels, the economic opportunity that Las Vegas has is incomparable.

According to Greatschools.org, the County Line Elementary School district received a rating of 7/10 or above average in quality compared to other schools in Texas. Test scores are only slightly above the state averages in math, reading, writing and science, with average hovering around 40-50 percent. Being that it is a smaller town than Las Vegas, the schools are not very racially diverse, which limits children in being exposed to individuals of varying cultures and backgrounds; the schools are about 50 percent white and 41 percent Hispanic with Black, Asian, Native American and Pacific Islander students making up the rest. In comparison, Nevada lags in ranking, but still scored 7/10 on greatschools.com like New Braunfels, Texas. While a large number of schools in the district are ranked as below average, elementary public schools and elementary magnet schools have been awarded with Schools of Distinction designation and have been widely lauded by Magnet Schools of America. Irrespective of the city chosen, it will take dedicated searching to find a school suited to familial needs and the individual needs of the child or children who will attend it.

Between the two cities’ safety rankings, both are suitable places to raise families. Despite the apprehension given the culture of Las Vegas, families are rarely seen frequenting the Strip, the main hub of activity in the city. New Braunfels is also primarily suburban. In Las Vegas, child care assistance is often built into careers, especially in the tourism sector, more so than in Texas. There are certain apprehensions that most people have about living in Las Vegas, and they are not without reason, but the education and well-being of children in all senses is the most important. As many “negative” influences as there are in Las Vegas compared to small New Braunfels, there is great opportunity for parents to be more involved than usual in their kids’ lives to guide them properly—which should happen irrespective of location and school choice.

There is a unique culture in both cities that makes families who choose to live there lucky and gives them the opportunity to see diverse, interesting elements of life. Entertainment and education abound, both of which are instrumental to the overall well-being of children and families. The public education systems vary greatly, but as with any city, searching for the best school will be a process. Both areas are unique in their own way.

    References
  • CCSD magnet schools receive several awards. (2019, January 16). Retrieved January 5, 2020, from https://www.ktnv.com/news/ccsd-magnet-school-program-recognized-by-magnet-schools-of-america.
  • DeLancey, S. (2019, July 15). 2020 set to be big growth year in Las Vegas. Retrieved January 5, 2020, from https://www.ktnv.com/news/2020-set-to-be-big-growth-year-in-las-vegas.
  • New Braunfels, TX. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://datausa.io/profile/geo/new-braunfels-tx/.