Chance the Rapper has pledged to give $1 million to the Chicago Public Schools Foundation, with the money going to fund arts and enrichment programming.
The Grammy winner and native of the city's South Side made the announcement Monday at Westcott Elementary School in the West Chatham neighborhood. Chance recently met with Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) to discuss the serious money issues affecting Chicago Public Schools (CPS), and the rapper said he received "a lot of vague answers" to his questions. "Our talks were unsuccessful," he added. "Gov. Rauner still won't commit to giving Chicago's kids a chance without caveats or ultimatums."
It's been two years since Illinois last approved a full budget, and Chicago schools have stayed in session due to the legislature enacting several stopgap measures, Rolling Stone reports. Rauner vetoed a bill that would delegate $215 million in funding to CPS, and without that money, Chance said, thousands of employees might have to be laid off or the school year will be cut short by 13 days. "This means over 380,000 kids will not have adult-supervised activities in June and could possibly be put in harm's way," he said. The $1 million gift is being funded through ticket sales for his upcoming spring tour, local venues, and major concert promoters, and Chance is urging others to donate, too, reminding them that this is not about politics. "As a private citizen, as a parent, and as a product of CPS, 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," he said. "This is the very beginning."