Chicago’s public schools are in a bad spot right now, as a two-year war over the state budget has left the cash-strapped district scrambling to slash its budget even further. Chicago’s own Chance the Rapper met with Illinois governor Bruce Rauner last Friday to discuss the increasingly dire situation, but after expressing his disappointment with the governor’s “vague answers,” Chance vowed to have a “plan” of his own by Monday. The headline of that plan? Donating a cool million dollars to the schools he came up in.
In a hastily assembled press conference held at a South Side elementary school, here’s what Chance had to say about politics, his donation, and the future of education in his hometown:
Governor Rauner can use his executive power to give Chicago’s children the resources they need to fulfill their God-given right to learn. The governor gave me a lot of vague answers in our meeting, and since has called me over the weekend. Our talks were unsuccessful. Governor Rauner still won’t commit to giving Chicago’s kids a chance without caveats or ultimatums.
After detailing the implications of Rauner’s unexpected veto of a bill that would have provided a badly needed $215 million to Chicago public schools, Chance dropped the hammer:
While I’m frustrated and disappointed in the governor’s inaction, that will not stop me from doing all I can to support Chicago’s most valuable resource—its children. Today, I’m proud to announce that I am donating $1 million to CPS.
Look at that memo line! That’s how you write a check!
Chance went on to share that the donation was funded largely through ticket sales from his upcoming tour, and he thanked his fans for helping to make it possible. (If you already bought a ticket, go ahead and pat yourself on the back right now. I’ll wait.) Chance’s gift isn’t a one-and-done situation, either—for every $100,000 raised, his nonprofit, SocialWorks, will donate an additional $10,000 to a specific school, starting with the million that Chance himself put up.
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