Huffpost Politics

Texas Won't Force City To Restore Schools' Water

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The La Villa Independent School District's farm sits locked up in La Villa, Texas, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. A water payment dispute between the city and school district has shut down the schools and forced students to move their livestock elsewhere. (AP Photo/Chris Sherman) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

McALLEN, Texas (AP) — A state commission says it can't force a South Texas city to turn its school district's water back on so students can return to class.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on Wednesday denied La Villa Independent School District's request for an emergency order. The commission says it's not authorized to intervene in the water fee dispute between the district and La Villa.

The city cut water to the district after students left for holiday vacation, saying the district owes about $58,000 on its water bill. The district has been paying at an old rate after objecting to a December 2012 rate hike.

Classes were to resume Monday, but schools have remained closed.

Schools Superintendent Narciso Garcia didn't immediately respond to message left on his cellphone after Wednesday's hearing.

Earlier on HuffPost:

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