After revealing earlier today that he'd be holding a live press conference at a Chicago elementary school following a disappointing meeting about education funding with the Illinois governor last week, Chance the Rapper has announced that he'll be donating $1 million to Chicago Public Schools.
Before presenting the school district with an oversized check, Chance called Rauner out for his "vague answers" and for backpedaling on a compromise with state legislatures that would have provided funding to Chicago schools and closed the wide disparity in Chicago’s pension payments and other school districts.
Chance then announced his charitable donation, revealing that it was made possible by his ticket sales, and reasoned why the arts are invaluable to growing students before challenging corporations to follow suit and take action.
Chance also announced that for every $100,000 raised, his non-profit organization SocialWorks will donate $10,000 to a specific Chicago high school or elementary school--so Chance's big check will cover 10 schools, beginning with Westcott Elementary School where he held the conference.
Watch and read his speech below.
"As you guys know, Friday I met with Governor Rauner to urge him to do his job and to honor his original commitment to provide $215 million dollars to CPS so our kids could finish the year strong. Govenor 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."
"This time last year, stage legislatures and Governor Rauner reached an important compromise on behalf of the public schools and the students across the state. This commitment was made to bridge the gap between the wide disparity in Chicago’s pension payments and those of every other school district. But 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 schools were counting on to close out the school year."
"The state of Illinois widened its unfair education funding even further this year, increasing funding for every teacher except in Chicago by $243 million and cutting funding for Chicago teachers by $215 [million]."
Continue reading below.
"Our kids should not be held hostage because of political positions. 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. 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 valuable resource: its children."
"Today, I’m proud to announce that I am donating $1 million to CPS’ Arts and Enrichment Programming...I’m excited to share that this donation was made possible by my fans. Through ticket sales from my upcoming tour in an unprecedented coordination from LiveNation and AEG and Ticketmaster—competing corporations, if you guys didn’t know—we were able to band together—I’m sorry, also with independent promoters and venues across the country—to use funds from ticket sales to donate into CPS."
"I’m honored to make this donation to CPS Foundation and help cultivate Chicago creative minds. I’m committed to helping Chicago’s children have quality learning experiences that include the arts. As an artist and after-school teacher, I know the arts are essential; they teach students invaluable lessons like “practice makes perfect,” that small differences can have large effects, and that collaboration leads to creativity."
"This check that I donated is a call to action. I’m challenging major companies and corporations in Chicago and all across the U.S. to donate and take action. The CPS students have spoken recently at one of our open mics and would like corporations to invest in them as we’ve invested in their businesses. Let your businesses know that their help is needed and we can all pull together to support the children of Chicago."