On March 6 artist Chance the Rapper said that he will be giving the Chicago Public Schools Foundation $1 million, according to Rolling Stone. The money is to be used to support art and enrichment programs. Chance also plans to give away an additional $100,000, $10,000 each going to ten different schools. Among those is Westcott Elementary, which is in the rapper’s old home neighborhood of West Chatham.
Non-profit Social Works is also taking donations for Chicago Public Schools, and will provide $10,000 matching funds for every $100,000 that is raised. Chance founded Social works in 2016.
The rapper decided to take some of the funding for schools into his own hands after meeting with Bruce Rauner, the Illinois state governor, to talk about his concerns over the Chicago public education system.
Chance said that his discussions with the governor did not achieve his purpose, and he feels that Rauner is not giving Chicago’s kids a fair chance. Rauner vetoed a bill whose mandates would include $215 million funds to Chicago schools, although he has since made two proposals that would include that funding. Chance said the lack of funding could cause a shortened school year or reduced staffing; however, he has not given a comment on two new proposals, Rolling Stone reported.
Funding Chicago Public Schools is an issue of a contention going back over two years in Illinois government.
Funds from tickets to Chance’s tour this spring, in collaboration with concert promotion businesses and venues, make up the rapper’s own $1 million contribution. Chance said that the funding is not a political or a posture issue, but a reaction on behalf of Chicago’s children. He called for other people to advocate and help.
Chance said he’s continued the discussion about helping the schools with other celebrities from Chicago. He wants to see the schools funded, not subsidized, although, he said, he doesn’t consider it his responsibility to make policy. Instead, he sees his job as ensuring that resources are in place.