Chance the Rapper
3.3.2017

Chance the Rapper Frustrated After Meeting with Illinois Governor

This afternoon, Chance the Rapper had a private 40-minute meeting with Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner about the state of Chicago’s Public Schools, but the Grammy-winning MC didn’t seem too pleased with the outcome.

“I’m here ’cause I just want people to do their jobs,” Chance told reporters after the meeting. “I did speak with the governor. I asked him about funding CPS with that $215 million that was discussed in May of last year and was vetoed in December over, you know, political arguments and shit.

“The kids are on the table right now,” he added. “We spoke for a second. It sounded like we were going somewhere, but it’s hinged on passing other bills. I’m not a politician…” He also reportedly told the governor: “Take our kids off the table.”

During his impromptu post-meeting press conference, Chance also appeared disappointed with Rauner’s inability to provide specifics. “He gave me a lot of vague answers so we’ll see what happens,” he added. “He has my personal number.”

After the meeting, Chance also challenged local and international reporters to detail the complications within CPS. “I want y’all to do your jobs, as a matter of fact,” he said. “Seriously, if all your publications that you guys work for and the international/national publications out there, Complex, Billboard, people that post about me walking down the street and shit, if you guys could give a comprehensive history on how we ended up here….”

Taking a different approach, Governor Rauner called their conversation a “good exchange of views.” “We had a discussion about education and education funding,” he said (via Chicago Tribune). “Good exchange of views on what the options are, what the possibilities are.”

Rauner’s had a complicated history with Chicago Public Schools. In fact, CPS recently sued Rauner, the State of Illinois, and the Illinois State Board of Education, alleging “unequal” funding violating students’ civil rights. “Chicago students, who are overwhelmingly students of color, are learning in a separate but unequal system,” CPS CEO Forrest Claypool said at the time, as per NBC Chicago. “The message from the State is that their educations matter less than children in the rest of Illinois, and that is both morally and legally indefensible.”

As Chance alluded to, Rauner has been heavily criticized for vetoing a bill that would have provided CPS with an additional $215 million in state funding. CPS Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson would go on to say that the action had “horrible” effects. “It really puts the district in a horrible position,” Jackson said at the time. “But I have to have faith that we’ve made a public commitment, a public promise. And to renege on that is something that really puts the district in a horrible place.”

Later, Rauner would admit that the veto was an “emotional” reaction. “There was a commitment in our leaders meetings last summer, when we did our stopgap spending plan … that when we did comprehensive pension reform for the state, Chicago’s teacher pension would be changed instead to be picked up by the state,” said Rauner. “That was part of the — that was a verbal agreement, crystal clear. And you know, I’m a human being, I get a little emotional sometimes. When that was publicly reneged on — you don’t do that, that’s not right.”

Now, Chance the Rapper promises that his fight for Chicago Public Schools isn’t over. “The fight has just begun,” he tweeted. “Chicago Public Schools and I did not lose today. Please don’t let that become the narrative. Monday morning I’ll have a plan.”