The three-time Grammy winner announced the gift to support school arts and enrichment programs at a press conference Monday, March 6, noting fans’ concert ticket purchases made the donation possible. The effort was launched due to a collaboration among competing ticket distribution companies LiveNation, Ticketmaster, and AEG.
“Our kids should not be held hostage because of political position,” Chance said at Wescott Elementary School in Northbrook, Ill., which was given $10,000. “If the governor does not act, CPS will be forced to end school 13 days early, which means over 380,000 kids will not have adult-supervised activities in June and could possibly be put in harm’s way. While I’m frustrated and disappointed in the governor’s inaction, that will not stop me from continuing to do all I can to support Chicago’s most valued resources, its children.”
Chance, born Chancellor Bennett, met with Rauner Friday, March 3, to discuss what the rapper said was inadequate funding for the school system. CPS is facing a $215 million budget deficit that Rauner could have funded with a bill last year, but he vetoed it instead.
“The governor gave me a lot of vague answers in our meeting and since has called me over the weekend,” Chance, said. “Our talks were unsuccessful. Gov. Rauner still won’t commit to giving Chicago’s kids a chance without caveats or ultimatums. Gov. Rauner, do your job.”
Hours before Chance’s announcement, Rauner submitted proposals to fund $215 million to CPS, including tying it to a larger overhaul of pension reforms and allowing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to take from city tax increment financing funds.
“I want them to fund CPS,” Chance said of the plans. “It’s not my job to propose any policy or be behind anything other than the kids.”
Aside from the $1 million gift, Chance called on corporations in Chicago and nationwide to donate and urged the public to give through his nonprofit SocialWorks. For every $100,000 the organization receives, SocialWorks will donate $10,000 to a school of its choice.