We have lived in Waco for the last year. Not really sure about rent as we own a house in Hewitt which is suburb on the south side of Waco. It's a great area with grate schools. There are lots of rental duplexes in the area. If you are looking for good public schools you will want to stay in one of the burbs.., namely Hewitt, china springs, Robinson, woodway.
Overall we are loving it here!