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Chance the Rapper to Announce List of CPS Schools to Receive Funding

10 March 2017

Illinois ranks dead last when it comes to funding public education, Chance the rapper explained, likely referring to a 2015 study iniated by the Illinois Association of School Administrators.

Chance the Rapper has put up $1m to support arts programming for schools in the United States city of Chicago, which have been suffering from a lack of funding.

"Today, I'm proud to announce that I am donating $1 million to CPS to support arts and enrichment programming", Chance said in the news conference at Westcott Elementary School on the South Side of Chicago.

Chance has previously used his celebrity status to lobby for the same cause, catapulting it to national attention when Gov. Rauner pulled back on a bill a year ago that would have given a $215m funding boost to pensions funds for teachers in the area.

"As a CPS graduate, Chance has shown Chicago students not only the heights they can achieve but the generosity they can share", CPS spokesperson Emily Bittner said in a statement obtained by CNN. When a $215 million stop-gap budget measure failed to pass last month, the Chicago Public Schools froze $46 million in discretionary funds the district said it needed to make a required pension payment in June. For every $100,000 the organization receives, SocialWorks will donate $10,000 to a school of its choice.

The artist said he was "frustrated and disappointed" with Governor Rauner's "vague" answers on how to solve the budget problems and noted, "our kids should not be held hostage because of political positions".

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Michelle Obama tweeted in response to the news of the donation, calling Chance "an example of the power of arts education".

One option includes passing legislation that would allow Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to tap into the city's tax increment financing funds, meant to subsidize economic development in poor areas. Everybody and their momma knows about what's going on in Chicago, it's constantly talked about.

Chance the Rapper's news conference on Monday was at the Westcott Elementary School, a highly-rated campus in the West Chatham neighborhood that educates students who are nearly exclusively black and poor. But we're about to enhance the conversation. Both proposals were rejected by city and CPS officials.

Bennett slammed the governor Friday for vetoing $215 million in CPS funding last December.

On the eve of Election Day, Chance the Rapper organized a free concert followed by a parade to the polls in Chicago.

"I'm challenging major companies across the U.S.to donate and take action", he said.

Chance the Rapper to Announce List of CPS Schools to Receive Funding