L.A. public schools superintendent Ramon Cortines this week overturned a controversial district decision that would have charged parents of athletes $24 a year for game-day transportation.

“I was livid this morning. … I was not aware of this,” Cortines told the Daily Breeze on Thursday.

In 1984 the state Supreme Court ruled that charging mandatory fees for extracurricular activities was a violation of California's constitution. Though $24 is a relatively small fee compared to what other school districts charge, the fee can be steep for low-income families.

“There may be schools where students and families can pay for this, but that won't be at every school. … For me this is an issue of equity,” Cortines said.

Though athletes are exempt from the fee, the Los Angeles Unified School District still needs to figure out a way to close a $650,000 budget gap.

“We will have to find a more cost-efficient way to deliver services and consolidate routes. But there is no way, during these tough economic times, that I am going to put this cloud of burden over our families,” Cortines said.

LA Weekly