Chancelor Bennett, famously known as hip hop artist Chance the Rapper, met up with the IL governor Bruce Rauner (R) in order to discuss funding for America's third biggest school district.
Chance The Rapper announced plans to donated $1 million to the Chicago Public Schools during a press conference at Westcott Elementary School and described his donation as a "call to action", asking for similar measures of support from Chicago's business community. Former First Lady Michelle Obama even tweeted in support of the rapper.
After an unsuccessful meeting with Governor Bruce Rauner last week, Chance the Rapper is taking matters into his own hands and leading the charge to rectify Chicago Public Schools' funding crisis.
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The one-on-one sit-down happened on Friday and did not go so well, prompting Chance to hold a press conference calling Rauner out, saying, "Our kids should not be held hostage because of political positions".
The Grammy-winning rapper, whose full name is Chancelor Bennett, said he asked Rauner to "take our kids off the table" as he left his office.
This donation, Chance explained, was made possible by fans; the money is coming from ticket sales to his Coloring Book World Tour and partnerships with Live Nation, AEG and independent promoters and venues. For an artist whose father works in politics, and whose origins in Chicago's activist poetry scene draw directly upon principles from grassroots organizers like Saul Alinsky, the actual money he's donating isn't the point, nor is it merely measurable in PR value.
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The governor vetoed legislation in December that would have sent the district $215 million to ease its massive pension burden, prompting the district to cut costs, furlough employees and freeze school budgets.
"He gave me a lot of vague answers, so we'll see what happens", the rapper told reporters after his meeting with Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. The internet is already going insane with love and support for Chance's initiative.
Chance said he would do all he can to "protect Chicago's most valuable resource: its children". "And when I call on you, I'm gonna need your help and I'm gonna need you to respond". The Republican governor's education policies have been criticized as racially biased; Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool said in a statement, "Gov. Rauner did not create this unjust system, but he has chosen to perpetuate it, violating the civil rights of hundreds of thousands of Chicago schoolchildren and threatening their futures".
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