Yes, I'm sorry to say it, but after correctly predicting no layoffs for the last two years, I'm donning my swami hat once more to reverse course this year. I think Mayor4life will carry out his threat to lay off teachers this year--but not in the numbers you might think.
I'm guessing that the mayor will announce, in a tortured voice, that he did everything he could to save teachers' jobs, but he just couldn't pull it off given the fact that no one has enough money (unless you count Bloomberg himself, or the three billion dollar surplus).
I do, however, think the number will be smaller than the 4,600 Bloomberg originally announced. I can't say what the number is, but I'm betting it will be more or less equal to the number of some set or sets of teachers that Bloomberg would like to get rid of. It will look something like this:
Number of Layoffs = Number of ATRs + Total Rubber Roomers OR
Number of Layoffs = Number of teachers rated U in the last 3 years OR
Some other combination of teachers that Bloomberg wants to fire anyway.
You see, this was NEVER about money. The city has the money to avert layoffs right now. What the mayor wants is ability to fire whoever the hell he wants, whenever the hell he wants to. He has been stymied at every turn in his efforts to end seniority. This will be his final attempt to get his way.
What better way than to say, "We've done all we could to avert layoffs, but we couldn't. Now if the UFT would just let me fire the (insert favorite type of vilified teachers here), we could have a great teacher in every classroom!"
It's an underhanded ploy, of course, but that's exactly why I'm predicting the mayor will try it.