This Monday, rapper Chance announced that he will donate one million dollars “for arts and enrichment” programs to the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Foundation. The news was announced at Westcott Elementary School in the neighborhood of West Chatham. Grammy-winning artist gave an oversized check to students of the school at the press conference held at his elementary school.
This was announced a couple of days after meeting of the rapper with Bruce Rauner, the Governor of Illinois, where artist expressed his concerns about the lack of direct funding by the state towards CPSs. Chance said on Monday to students and reporters that he got a lot of vague answers from the Governor in the meeting. He also added that Rauner called his over the weekend, after their talk on Friday. The rapper first shared his feeling via reporters, stating "Do your job!" "Our talks were unsuccessful". Finally, Chance concluded his opinion, stating "Gov. Rauner still won't commit to giving Chicago's kids a chance without caveats or ultimatums."
Earlier, Governor Rauner’s veto of a bill set back $215 million in funding to CPS. Chance stated that this is an important compromise for both schools and students across the state. This may result in thousands of staff dismisses or shortening of the school year by 13 days. Rapper passionately explained that the second option would result in over 380,000 kids without adult-supervising activities during June and potential misbehaviors.
Ticket sales for rapper’s tour in spring and effort of local venues, promoters all over the country as well as concert promoters (including Live Nation, AEG and Ticketmaster) made this donation possible, explained rapper. Although he did not elaborate money rising, he said that all aforementioned groups were banded together to collect ticket sales funds to CPS donations.
Social Works, a local non-profit organization which was created by Chance last, will add additional $10,000 to every $100,000 raised for the CPS via website donations. Artist also stated that he will be donating $10,000 to 10 selected local schools, including rapper’s elementary school.
Rapper declined to comment on Rauner’s two earlier proposals for $215 million fund raising for CPS.
He pointed out that the Governor has the power to change the situation “with the stroke of the pen”. Artist also commented on the high murder rate. He expressed his concerns as " As a private citizen, as a parent and as a product of CPS “ and added “I'm asking that you guys join and fight with me, organize with me, mobilize with me, for the interest of the children of Chicago. This is the very beginning."
The problem of CPS funding goes for two last years, mainly between Republican Governor Rauner and Democratic State Senate President John Cullerton. Although the full budget has not been approved during this time, several measures were taken in order to keep CPS going in session.
Chance added that he had been in contact with other celebrities from Chicago, including rapper Common, to discuss their help for CPS. Although he is aware that he is not a politician, Chance added that he feels the
responsibility to provide quality education for the children.