Chance the Rapper, a proud product of Chicago Public Schools, was noticeably flustered this past Friday after meeting with Ill. Governor Bruce Rauner regarding funding for the school system.
Chance, who grew up on the city’s South Side, briefly spoke to reporters as he left the Thompson Center following the 30-minute meeting and expressed his frustration after what he called “vague answers” to his questions, according to The Chicago Sun-Times.
“I felt it went a little bit different than it should have,” said Chance. “I’m here because I just want people to do their jobs.”
“And 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 (stuff).”
Chicago Public Schools and I did not lose today. Please don't let that become the narrative. Monday morning I'll have a plan.
— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) March 3, 2017
CPS has been at the center of negotiations between Illinois Democrats and Republicans for more than two years now and the students have suffered as a result. Many blame the Republican governor for getting in the way of any progress in previous negotiations.
“Take our kids off the table,” Chance said before stepping onto an elevator.
On the other hand, Gov. Rauner left the discussion with a much more optimistic approach, hoping that Chance can use his influence to help the twi sides of the aisle come to a compromise that works and benefits CPS students.
“That powerful voice can be a voice for change,” Rauner said, addressing reporters after Chance left the building. “If we stood together, Chance, I have some power, I have power in some ways, you have great power in other ways. If we stood together, worked together, I think we could get big things done.”
The South Side rapper has proven his personal stake in the city’s future multiple times, whether it was providing 1,000 winter coats to the homeless community or his regular Open Mike events where kids get to put their talents on display in a safe space. This reputation likely played a role in the support he’s getting from local politicians in his attempt to mediate discussions.
“I applaud Chance for using his platform to advocate for our children. I am available to brief him on any of the many issues our education system has as he prepares for further conversations with the governor,” Sen. Kimberly Lightfoot, chairwoman of the Education Committee, said in a statement.
“At this point, the important part is that our children have not been receiving the quality education they rightfully deserve. If it takes Chance to get our governor to do the job, hats off to Chance.”
Chance and Gov. Rauner both said they would continue their discussion before state legislature met again on Tuesday.