Chance The Rapper Is Helping Chicago Schools Because Illinois Won’t

by
Fatimah Mazhar
“He gave me a lot of vague answers, so we'll see what happens," the rapper told reporters after his meeting with Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner.

 

 

A 23-year-old rapper is doing more for public schools in Chicago than the government of Illinois — at least that’s how a considerable number of people feel in the Windy City.

In a news conference this week, Chancelor Bennett, popularly known as Chance the Rapper, announced he would be donating $1 million to the Chicago Public Schools systems (CPS).

The move comes just days after the singer and songwriter, who is a Chicago native, met with Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner to discuss the lack of state funding for the CPS. According to Chance, the “talks were unsuccessful.”

"Today, I'm proud to announce that I am donating $1 million to CPS to support arts and enrichment programming," Chance said at the presser at Westcott Elementary School on the South Side of Chicago, before adding Rauner gave him “a lot of vague answers,” during their meeting, “so we'll see what happens.”

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While Chance’s discussion with Rauner was broadly about CPS funding, it took off after Rauner vetoed a bill that was set to delegate $215 million in funding to the city’s school systems. This could, as Chance noted, layoff thousands of staff members and shorten the school year by 13 days.

“Our kids should not be held hostage because of political positions,” the rapper stated in his news conference.

“I’m challenging major companies across the U.S. to donate and take action,” he added. “CPS students have spoke, recently at one of our open mics, and would like corporations to invest in them the way we’ve invested in their businesses. As a private citizen, a parent and a product of CPS, I’m asking you to fight with me.”

A lot of people have praised Chance for his donation, including former first lady Michelle Obama:

 

"As a CPS graduate, Chance has shown Chicago students not only the heights they can achieve but the generosity they can share," school district spokesperson Emily Bittner told CNN in a statement. "We also appreciate his strong advocacy for Chicago schoolchildren, who suffer under the state's discriminatory system of funding, which Gov. Rauner continues to perpetuate."

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