Chicago born and bred hip hop artist Chance the Rapper has announced that he will be donating $1 million to his home city's public schools.
The announcement was made during a press conference at Westcott Elementary School on Monday, blocks from where Chance grew up as a young student.The musician had reportedly sat down with Republican Gov. Rauner on Friday to discuss education funding after the governor vetoed a $215 million education funding initiative back in December. Chance was "flustered" after leaving the meeting, saying he had been given "a lot of vague answers" without any compromise in sight.
"Illinois' education system is one of the most severely underfunded in the nation. After years of being underfunded, the Chicago Public Schools system has been forced to cut teachers, supplies, and after school programs," said the artist in a statement. "Despite having already cut $260 million in costs internally, CPS was left a $215 million gap in their budget as of May 2016"
"To prevent further irreparable damage, the only solution is for the Governor to sign the bill allocating these necessary funds to CPS, and then working with the General Assembly to pass a budget and education funding reform."
"As a CPS graduate, Chance has shown Chicago students not only the heights they can achieve but the generosity they can share," school district spokesperson Emily Bittner said in a statement. "We also appreciate his strong advocacy for Chicago schoolchildren, who suffer under the state's discriminatory system of funding, which Gov. Rauner continues to perpetuate."
Several celebrities have come out in support of Chance's campaign, including the former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama.
"Thanks [Chance] for giving back to the Chicago community, which gave us so much," said the First Lady. "You are an example of the power of arts education."
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