The whole 15 March/15 May layoff thing is not entirely true, you know. I mean, it makes its appearance in every story about the catastrophic budget cuts awaiting us (possibly $1000 per pupil now). But that doesn't make it true.
The Ed Code (44955.5) allows late layoffs within five days' of the state's budget being passed and 15 August...if per-pupil funding doesn't get at least a 2% increase (or, as I like to call it, "annually").
I don't know what exactly they mean by "state's budget". Does that mean a complete budget, balanced and everything? Or would the half-budget we have now suffice? If the state has to have a complete and total budget, I think we can assume that it would be hard-pressed to have one by 15 August.
Still, this is a real possibility. This 2009 Chronicle blog post reports that the late window may have never been used, but I think that's out of date now (I'm pretty sure they were used later that year. Last year the budget was so late I don't think the window opened).
And given just how bad things are going to be, barring amazing budget dodges - maybe some of Speaker Perez's plans will be easier to enact since the budget only needs a majority vote this year - I think we better not assume there will be no late window RIFs.
...Or for that matter, late resignations. I don't care what happens in November locally or statewide to provide school funding: we have almost three months of school year before then to suffer through. And it will be suffering. High needs schools, as always, will get the worst of it: more teacher layoffs, no cash-rich PTA to spackle over the gaping holes, more students feeling the outside-the-classroom impacts of the massive safety net cuts (you go to work with an infected abscess in your mouth and see how well you do, now that we've cut dental benefits for poor children) on the state level.
And we can look forward to federal cuts, too. Nothing like a little starvation to ensure bad learning outcomes, and the food stamp cuts the Rethuglican* Congress is proposing will make malnutrition easier.
Given that, who wants to teach? There is a huge emotional component to the work, but it shouldn't be ministering. The situation we are in makes it missionary work, not education. Teachers have lives outside the classroom; while their students so desperately need their emotional energy they have less left for their families and friends. That's unfair to everyone and unsustainable for educators.
I have a science proposal on Donors Choose that is about to expire not fully funded. I think I had better start writing some for pencils, socks and toothbrushes so I'm ready for when it does.
*Seriously. If you do bad things to the neediest people - and unambiguously, that Congress does - you are a thug. I am tired of civil behavior glossing over the real, brutal impacts of the budget cuts being demanded for economically imaginary reasons.