*Chance the Rapper met with Illinois’ Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner at the Thompson Center Friday morning to discuss funding for Chicago Public Schools, which is in the midst of a financial crisis, but Chance didn’t seem very hopeful about it when speaking to reporters after the meeting.
“I’m a little bit flustered, just a little bit frustrated,” said Chance. “I thought that went a little different than it should have.”
Heavy borrowing, growing pension obligations and a fiscal crisis in the state have made funding for government services scarce. In less than 20 years, the schools’ outstanding debt has more than tripled to nearly $7 billion. In 2013, the city closed 50 schools. After-school programming and counseling were cut, and dozens of art and music teachers and librarians were laid off.
“The kids are on the table right now,” Chance told reporters. “We spoke for a second and it sounded like we were going somewhere, but it sounds like it’s hinged on passing other bills. He gave me a lot of vague answers, so we’ll see what happens. He has my personal number.”
Gov. Rauner said he and Chance discussed getting money for all school children in the state, particularly low-income students, and ways to decrease the gap between low-income and high-income schools. But Rauner had a more positive take on the meeting.
“Chance is very focused on getting funding for CPS right now, and I share his passion . . . I said how about if we work all weekend together,” said Rauner.
Rauner says he told Chance he has a powerful platform to speak to and on behalf of young people in Chicago.
“I said, if we stood together Chance, I have some power. I have power in some ways, you have great power in other ways,” said Rauner. “If we stood together, work together to figure this out, I think we could get big things done.”
Chance told reporters, “I’m here because I just want people to do their jobs.”
“I’m here because I’m a dad. I’m an after school teacher . . . I care about the kids.”
Watch his post-meeting remarks below:
As previously reported, the meeting came about after Governor Rauner tweeted Chance, congratulating him on his three Grammy wins.