A Starting Place for School Choice Discussion

I've admittedly ignored school choice until now, probably because Wylie ISD has been such a stellar school district for my sons. However, I have carefully taken the time to reflect upon the topic over the past several heated months since Texas Senate Bill 3 was introduced, and in the end, I must side with school choice.
If the premise of home schooling is that parents get the ultimate say about their children's education, taking that same choice away from others, who are unable to or simply cannot afford to place their students elsewhere, is a travesty.
I hear from my teacher and administration friends that districts will pay the price as they lose funding per head. But as a teacher or administrator, isn't your main goal the education of all children, not just the ones you get paid state funds to teach? We can all admit that some students simply do not thrive in the public school system. What are their choices, then? Has anyone even asked them?
Districts are claiming money will leave their district, but that premise is based upon them maintaining status quo on their balance sheets. Yet, if a district is doing a poor job of educating students, with school choice, the student gets to leave, and the district no longer has any costs associated with educating that student. SB3 goes even further and offers them consolation funds to go toward improvement.
In the real world, we tighten our belt with a lost job, we don't keep our same spending habits. Likewise, school districts will have to adjust their budgets accordingly if their students bail. If districts were doing their jobs, they would not have to worry about loss of funding from students moving en masse.
Honestly, it doesn't say much for school districts, if they have such low faith in their ability to retain students to the point they need to lobby against school choice and competition.
Probably the largest budget issue I see is that spending, especially on administrator salaries, takes precedence at budget time, and districts are forced to spend big money wooing superintendents. Though in line with other districts, you can see how our own Dr. Vinson's salary, coupled with the dozens of other highly paid administrators in the district, take up a large portion of our budget.
Dallas Morning News
These figures don't even include bonuses and other perks, either. Yet the reality is that we live in a world where teachers of 20 years are disproportionately paid compared to their responsibility and far-reaching effects. They earn roughly half what principals make, and a quarter or less of what superintendents and other high level administrators are paid. Districts are run similarly to for-profit businesses in many respects.
I see a lot of flaws in SB3. I dislike that it is not an all-inclusive, all or nothing bill that covers every child with an Educational Savings Account (ESA). Instead, there are students who won't qualify for funds if they are home schooled, or if they live in counties with populations lower than 285K, and it has a cap on households that make more than $75K. Wealthier households will still have available options they can afford to pay for, and rural, low-income areas will still be left with no choices. Talk about leaving kids behind.
SB3 had to be dumbed down in order to pass the Senate and has been threatened DOA at the House at every stage of its life. Not surprising, with Democrat in Republican drag, Joe Straus who acts as leader and chief gravedigger for all conservative legislation.
As long as Straus continues to stall and ignore conservative legislation, and as long as representatives like our own Rep. Jodie Laubenberg continue to vote for him as speaker in exchange for committee chair positions, school choice, and any meaningful education reform at the state level, will remain but a dream.
Though SB3 won't pass this go around, it is the start of a good discussion that warrants the involvement of all stakeholders, including parents, taxpayers and students, not just politicians and lobbyists.
With school choice, I believe we will end up with better educated students who are happier because they aren't forced to struggle in a situation to which they have no options. Isn't this the ultimate goal? Or are our students just immovable chattel to be chained in place?