Chance The Rapper Holds Press Conference, Announces $1 Million Donation to Chicago Public Schools

A few quotes and notes from the press conference:

  • Chance The Rapper announced a $1 million donation to CPS as a 'call to action' at a press conference at Wescott Elementary on the city's south side.
  • Rolled out the fan fueled campaign calling on corporations to donate
  • Chance: "Today I'm proud to announce that I am donating one million dollars to CPS to support more enriching programming."
  • Chance will be using a portion of his ticket sales from his upcoming tour, as well as partnership from Live Nation, AEG, Ticketmaster and independent concert promoters and venues.
  • "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."

Making good on a promise to have more to discuss on the topic of Chicago Public School funding after meeting with Governor Bruce Rauner on Friday, Chance The Rapper addressed a crowded room at Wescott Elementary School, located at 409 W. 80th St. on the city's south side. During the speech, he announced plans to help find additional funding for a public school program that has been decimated in recent years and played a big role in the artist's early development. Likewise, Gov. Rauner, who had a tough week of public relations after the pair's Thompson Center meeting seemed to have his hand forced as he announced a pair of new plans for CPS an hour before the conference.

Streaming live on Instagram, the public talk was a continuance of the 23-year-old Grammy winner's push to help save the city, a central message in his previous #SaveChicago campaign.

Chance The Rapper's non-profit Social Works will donate $10,000 for every $100,000 donated via the website. Social Works has made their first $10,000 to Westcott Elementary - home to the press conference.

Chance reiterated his statements from last week "Governor Rauner, do your job."

For his part, Rauner offered two different plans for closing the CPS' $215 million budget shortfall in a memo Monday. One plan included allowing Mayor Rahm Emanuel to use TIF (tax increment financing) funds to help cover the costs. Recently, Emanuel used the discretionary budget to help build a new arena and hotels for DePaul basketball in the South Loop. On the other side is restructuring the state's pension retirement plan. According to The Chicago Tribune Michael Mahoney, Rauner's deputy chief of staff for policy and legislative affairs wrote in a report, "However, given the extraordinary mismanagement of both the city and CPS budgets, legislation could be enacted to authorize a one-time mayoral transfer of $215 million from Chicago TIF funds to CPS."

 Despite the perceived olive branch from the much-maligned governor who cut funding for Chicago State University last year after taking office in 2015, it appears the plans have once again fallen on deaf ears.

Photos by  Joshua Mellin

Photos by Joshua Mellin

"Yet again, Gov. Rauner is perpetuating a racially discriminatory state funding system and his so-called plan actually demands that Chicago students do more to get the same funding that every other student in the state of Illinois is entitled to receive — a gross disparity that has no place in 2017," CPS spokeswoman Emily Bittner said in a statement. "Chicago residents stepped up and are paying $342 million more in taxes this year alone to support schools, and it's past time for the state of Illinois to end the racial discrimination that is creating a separate and unequal funding system."