Chicago Public Schools officials have asked a federal court to stop a federal lawsuit that accuses the district of using its flower delivery program to force schools to pay for the delivery of flowers instead of flowers that are already in the classroom.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Chicago on Wednesday and seeks an order halting the district’s use of the flower delivery system.
The district says it’s working with state and federal officials to ensure the system is fair and equitable.
The U.S. Department of Justice is also looking into the complaint, which was filed last week by the advocacy group National Nurses United.
The complaint, the latest in a long string of class-action lawsuits, accuses the Illinois Education Association, the district and its school employees of using “unreasonable” and “unlawful” practices in their effort to force the district to pay flowers that students already received.
The flower delivery systems are being used at some of Chicago’s most popular schools, including North Park Elementary School, which receives about 80,000 students and has about 3,000 flower delivery students.
The flowers are delivered to students in the morning and lunchtime.
It’s a practice that was first made illegal by the federal government in 2009.
The suit says the district is using flower delivery to coerce schools to reimburse students who already received flowers for their tuition.
It accuses the school district of falsely billing students for flowers they didn’t receive.
The school district says the practice is “unfair” and it’s reviewing the complaint.
In April, the school board approved a new contract with a third-party company that handles the flower deliveries.
That contract has been on hold since a federal judge ordered the district not to use the flower system.
A federal judge earlier this year denied a request by the school districts lawyers to block the district from using the flower program.
The case is NNSU v.
Chicago Public School District, U.P. District of Cook County, No. 11-cv-1425.