Days after a failed meeting with Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, Chance The Rapper announced on Monday that he is donating a whopping $1 million dollars to Chicago Public Schools. The funds will be paid to the Chicago Public School Foundation.
ABC’s Chicago affiliate WLS reported that the three-time Grammy-winning artist held a press conference at the south side’s Wescott Elementary school and stressed that“our kids should not be held hostage because of political positioning.”
“Our kids should not be held hostage because of political position. If the governor does not act, CPS will be forced to end school 13 days early, which means over 380,000 kids will not have adult supervised activities in June and could possibly be put in harm’s way,” he said, according to the ChicagoSun-Times.
“While I’m frustrated and disappointed in the governor’s inaction, that will not stop me from continuing to do all I can to support Chicago’s most valued resources, its children.”
In addition, Chance called upon private businesses and corporations to donate money, saying that for every $100,000 in donations he will donate an additional $10,000 to individual schools to further support arts education, WLS noted.
“This check that I donated is a call to action. I’m challenging major companies in Chicago and all across the U.S. to take action.”
The Chicago native was a product of the public school system and clearly wants to help out these schools that are currently experiencing a financial crisis.
“As a CPS graduate, Chance has shown Chicago students not only the heights they can achieve but the generosity they can share. We also appreciate his strong advocacy for Chicago schoolchildren, who suffer under the state’s racially discriminatory system of funding, which Gov. Rauner continues to perpetuate,” said CPS spokeswoman Emily Bittner in response to the donation.
Naturally people, including former First Lady Michelle Obama, took to Twitter to express their appreciation for this thoughtful act of generosity:
Thanks @chancetherapper for giving back to the Chicago community, which gave us so much. You are an example of the power of arts education.
According to a Sun Times report, the city’s school system faces a $215 million budget shortfall that led Gov. Rauner to veto a bill last year that would’ve funded CPS teachers’ pensions. Not to mention the school system is close to not having enough money to finish the full school year and might have to close 2 weeks early this year.