Chance the Rapper has donated $1 million to the Chicago Public School system in order to help them fund after-school extracurricular and art-based activities, announced the Grammy-award winning native of Chicago Monday.
Chancelor Bennett, famously known as hip hop artist Chance the Rapper, met up with the Illinois governor Bruce Rauner (R) in order to discuss funding for America’s third biggest school district. CPS has been facing a reduction in their budget that could see a $215 million shortfall since Rauner vetoed state aid.
“Gov. Rauner can use his executive power to give Chicago children the resources they need to fulfill their God-given right to learn,” said Bennett during the press conference located in Westcott Elementary School in Chicago’s South Side.
Bennett also mentioned that the governor presented “a lot of vague answers” to him when they met on Friday, and that a follow-up discussion on the weekend was “unsuccessful.”
The shortfall in the budget will mean spending freezes, cuts in the budget, and furlough days for teachers; the district had also floated an idea of concluding the school year about three weeks earlier than usual.
“Our kids should not be held hostage because of political positions,” said Bennett, noting how shortening students’ school years may leave thousands of children in Chicago without care from an adult, or any enrichment programs available, and possibly leave them vulnerable to street violence.
Call for Action
Bennett stated that his donation is a call for action to corporations and private citizens who can help the school district.
“I’m challenging major companies across the U.S. to donate and take action,” he stated. “CPS students have spoke, recently at one of our open mics, and would like corporations to invest in them the way we’ve invested in their businesses.”
“As a private citizen, a parent, and a product of CPS, I’m asking you to fight with me,” said Bennett.
Along with his $1 million donation, Bennett’s own youth-focused non-for-profit, Social Works, will be donating $10,000 to Chicago’s Public School System per every $100,000 they raise in funds.