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Giving Them a Chance

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On Monday, March 6, Chance the Rapper made a monstrous one-million-dollar donation to the Chicago Public Schools. This donation followed a previous conversation between the Chicago based artist and Governor Bruce Rauner. The two discussed $215 million dollars funding of CPS originally talked about in May of 2016 but vetoed by Rauner in December. This decision led CPS officials to cut $46 million dollars from their budget in February 2017.

Chance was not pleased with this meeting and was visibly distressed afterwards. He left the Governor’s office asking him to “take our kids off the table.”

Chance delivered an emotional speech at Westcott Elementary School, where he described the Rauner’s answers to his questions as “vague”. “Governor Rauner still won’t commit to giving Chicago’s kids a chance without caveats or ultimatums,” the three-time Grammy winner added. The 23 year-old continued by stressing that although he can’t control whether people in government do their jobs correctly, he won’t allow this inaction to stop him from doing all he can to support the children of Chicago. The $1 million will go to the fundraising arm of CPS. He urged other corporations and celebrities to take action as well.

Chance also promised individual $10,000 donations to ten Chicago high schools and elementary schools including Westcott Elementary causing great joy to those present at his speech.

As a former attendee of Jones College Prep High School, and the father of a year and a half year old daughter, Chance’s emotional standpoint on the issue of Chicago Public Schools is very comprehensible. Having seen how the system works (or doesn’t work) from personal experience, as well as having a daughter who will be attending schools in the Chicago area in the near future, Chance is choosing to take a stand that few others will. Those who do stand for it aren’t always seen or heard.

Since his donation and call to others to help the kids of Chicago, celebrities like Hannibal Burress and Scooter Braun have donated to CPS. Chance has also promised to donate $10,000 for every $100,000 that businesses donate to CPS.

Chance ended the month of March with an announcement that the Chicago Bulls would be donating $1 million to CPS as well. This donation along with all the other celebrity donations totals to $2.2 million. Chance added that he would be starting the Chance Arts and Literature Fund to aid in a decreased percentage of fifth year graduations.

As Chance tweeted in the days before the donation, “The fight has just begun.”

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Giving Them a Chance