I'm baaaaaaack.

Hoarding All the Glitter Since 2001.

31 March 2011

Let's remember the Late Layoff Window.

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  This 2009 Chronicle blog post reports that the late window may have never been used, but I think that's out of date now (I'm pretty sure they were used later that year.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.


Anonymous said...

Curious what science project you have on Donorschoose and how much money you were looking to raise?

E. Rat said...

It expired. I was hoping to get about $400 of life science materials.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. The reason I ask is that I wonder what teachers like you think of Donorschoose in general? Do you think it is useful? Have you had much success with projects in the past being funded?

P.S. I really enjoy reading your thoughts on your blog.

E. Rat said...

Yes, I think I've had about thirty grants funded through Donors Choose. Certainly it has provided materials that I can't and the state won't. Overall I believe my success rate is about 90%, although this year it has been harder to get projects fully funded.

That said, while I use Donors Choose to get my students what they deserve, I think it is unfortunate that I have to rely on private donations and chance to get classroom essentials (like construction paper or a space heater for a classroom that loses heat several times a winter). I believe that tax dollars should provide these to all students.

Anonymous said...


I do want to say I love your blog. Your writing style and sense of humor is awesome.

I am glad to hear that your success rate is so high overall. I completely agree that having to rely on private donations is frustrating. Unfortunately it seems like the day where tax dollars are able to fund these basics again might be far off.

I had one additional question regarding Donorschoose if you don't mind. I noticed that Donorschoose includes additional costs in your projects price tag. Do you think that this adds to difficulty at all of fully funding projects (especially larger ones)? Do you think they fairly price out the materials you are requesting? I have seen requests for things like Elmo readers and the price they source the item for seems much higher than what I could buy it for myself if I did a little research on the web.

I guess I am wondering if there is a better (more cost effective) way to get you what you need. A way to help make a more direct connection between you and people willing to fund your projects.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Sorry for the double (now triple) post :) I thought the first one didn't go through and retyped it.

E. Rat said...

Donors Choose does add some fees for their processing and whatnot, but they do allow donors to opt out. And the fees I think are a reasonable exchange for their visibility. I have Adopt a Classroom and another wishlist, but I have never received anything from either of those.

Donors Choose also gets some discounts from vendors - they come up when you're making the materials request.