The financially battered West Contra Costa schools were in an uproar Tuesday after the school board became the first in California to pull the plug on high school sports in a sweeping series of cuts that will also close school libraries and eliminate music programs.

The cuts came shortly after voters in the district shot down a new round of funding for the schools. It wasn't long after the ruling that the impact was truly felt. Fiscal woes have beleaguered the district for some time, but they are not alone in the region. The Mt. Diablo school district is considering charging kids $100 to participate in after school sports. (an idea currently in use by other districts around the country.)

Some consider sports to be a trivial pursuit. Others suggest the loss of access to teams and competition that fuel personal development to be something that is desperately needed by those most at risk. Some have attempted to rally professional athletes and local sports organizations for help. (No word yet from musicians or librarians). Since this story plays out in various versions again, and again, what can be done?