Chance The Rapper Donates $1M As Part Of His Plan To Save Chicago Public Schools

He's a man of the people.

Photo credit:Photo: NBC 5 Chicago

| March 06 2017,

8:39 pm

So there’s this rich businessman, right? He doesn’t know anything about politics, but looks out at the political landscape, then goes around telling everyone that he has the solutions to all of their problems.

Donald Trump? 

Nope. This time we’re talking about Illinois governor Bruce Rauner. And surprise! Like Trump, every day it becomes more and more clear that he has absolutely no idea what he’s doing.

If you live in Illinois, you know the state hasn’t had a budget in almost a year. If you don’t, you know now.

As a result, funding for public services has been in dire straits for some time. The Chicago Tribune reported this week that it is estimated that Chicago’s public schools are in need of $215 million.

Enter Chicago’s champion Chance the Rapper.

He announced today that he will be donating $1 million to Chicago Public Schools. The money will help the public school system to keep its doors open a little longer; as of now, CPS officials plan to end the school year three weeks early due to a lack of funds.

This announcement comes days after Chance went to Springfield, Illinois to meet with Rauner. The meeting, it seemed based on comments both men gave to reporters afterwards, could have gone better.

Chance said that the governor gave “a lot of vague answers” to his questions about ensuring that the schools would receive the funding they need. The newly minted Grammy winner also flashed reporters an incredulous face as he told them that Rauner “asked me where the $215 million dollars is going to come from.”

Chance made today’s announcement from Westcott Elementary School on Chicago’s Southside, in the rapper’s old neighborhood.

He began his remarks criticizing the governor, saying although he and Rauner spoke again over the weekend, “Governor Rauner still won’t commit to giving Chicago’s kids a chance without caveats or ultimatums.”

Chance continued, “Governor Rauner broke his promise to Chicago’s children a few months ago as a result of an admitted emotional reaction when he vetoed the $215 million in funding that Chicago’s schools were counting on to close out the school year.”

In announcing his donation, Chance explained that the $1 million will go towards funding arts and enrichment programs for CPS students, meaning that even if the schools’ doors are forced to close early, students will have something constructive to do.

Above and beyond this donation, Chance pledged matching grants through his SocialWorks non-profit today: for every $100,000 donated to CPS by a corporation, SocialWorks will donate an additional $10,000.

Again putting his money where his mouth is, Chance explained that the matching grants will start immediately — and that his $1 million donation is covered under the program, meaning that he will be giving CPS an additional $100,000 for arts programs.

Chance — who famously is a successful rapper today in part thanks to a school suspension — is a product of the sorts of programs he has pledged to financially support, including the Chicago's YOUMedia project.

In concluding his remarks today, Chance noted “Illinois currently ranks dead last — 50th out of 50 states — when it comes to funding public education.”

Whether you live in Illinois or not, it’s clear that the state needs help. A lot of help. And to that end, Chance issued a call to arms: “I’m asking that you guys join and fight with me. Organize with me. Mobilize with me.”

If you would like to help Chance in his efforts to better his hometown, you can donate to his initiative here.