Public schools

Chance the Rapper Million Dollar Chicago Public Schools Donation Going to Specific Schools

Chicago Public Schools looking for more money from state

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Chance the Rapper/Periscope

The ongoing debate over funding for the Chicago Public Schools has yielded a million dollar donation from Chance the Rapper—and the details of the grant illustrate CPS's underlying budgetary problem.

The million dollar grant was given to the Children's First Fund, and specifically targets south and west side elementary schools without art, music or language classes. It won't go to the general operating budget, which is in crisis in large part due to a pension system long managed as a slush fund.

Chance announced his donation yesterday, saying it was going to "support arts and enrichment programming" at Chicago public schools. The donation came after the rapper met with Gov. Bruce Rauner (R), who he criticized on Twitter for not properly funding Chicago schools. The governor, legislature, and local officials are clashing over funding formulas, pension reform, and how much of the pension shortfall the state should pay for.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has rejected proposals by the governor for Chicago to cover more of the pension oblgiations. "His plan to fix the fact that Chicago taxpayers pay twice for teacher pensions is to have them pay three times instead," a spokesperson said, according to the Chicago Tribune. "It's past time for the governor to step up, as Chicago's taxpayers already have, and end the state's separate and unequal funding for Chicago students."

As the Illinois Policy Institute explained in a 2015 review, over the last 20 years "Illinois and Chicago taxpayers contributed more than enough money to pay for both, had those funds been properly managed." Instead, the money was mismanaged through "pension pickups" (where the school district covers teacher's portions of their pension contributions) and "pension holidays (where pension fund contributions were used for other expenses instead), squandering state education funding that's grown at 150 percent of the rate of inflation, using pension money to grow payroll, creating new pension obligations, and creating a situation where the number of beneficiaries is growing but the number of contributors is shrinking.

"Governor Rauner can use his executive power to give Chicago's children the resources they need to fulfill their God-given right to learn," Chance said at his press conference. The Chicago school district's and teachers union's attempts to conflate money spent on pensions to money spent on children complicate the political debate while obfuscating the spending agendas, and ought to be resisted. When a $215 million stop-gap budget measure failed to pass last month, the Chicago Public Schools froze $46 million in discretionary funds the district said it needed to make a required pension payment in June.

Governor Rauner's office pointed out his family foundation gave $7 million in donations over the years. "While the Rauners are passionate donors to our schools, individual contributions will never be enough to address the financial challenges facing CPS," a Rauner spokesperson said, according to the Chicago Tribune. "It would be helpful if CPS officials came to Springfield and joined in serious, good-faith discussions about the long-term stability of all of our schools." Rauner's office has also signaled it now wanted pension reforms dealt with separately from the broader budget deal, suggesting more spending without reform down the line.

Chance the Rapper's non-profit, Social Works, is matching every $100,000 donation with $10,000 to a specific local school, beginning with his own.

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  1. Is he related to Chance the Gardener?

    1. His uncle is PaRappa.

    2. Chance The Nazi

    3. Any chance he is pissing his money away?

    4. I was looking for a reply similar to

      +1 Peter Sellers.. oh well.

  2. Chicago pols complain about the governor foe their pension problems. Wow

  3. I like chance….tho wish his no problem song was on itunes

  4. A million dollars?

    Will that last until the end of this school year? Until spring break?

    1. Uh, well, you see NaTMJG. We kinda already spent the money. It’s not like we counted on getting a million from Chance, it’s just that, well, we spent a bunch of money we didn’t have. And while we really appreciate Chance’s donation, it’s nowhere near what is owed. But we’re good for the money, I swear!

  5. Does Mr. The Rapper not think that the mismanagement of Chicago’s schools won’t extend to completely wasting his donation? That he (and Chicago) wouldn’t be better served by opening up a series of competing schools – or at least ‘demi-schools’ – that offer instruction in the ‘arts, languages, and music’ even if not a full education?

    Or that he should take a leaf from Oprah’s playbook and just open up some school’s in Africa?

    1. “Does Mr. The Rapper not think”

      Yes, or no, or whatever.

    2. Does Mr. The Rapper not think that the mismanagement of Chicago’s schools won’t extend to completely wasting his donation?

      *Continues to be flabbergasted by the notion that tossing $1M into a hole $5+B deep isn’t itself wasting money.*

  6. So why doesn’t the failing chicago public schools go out of business? I mean if a normal company would fuck up all their finances and benefits, they should go away and a new company take their place.

    1. Let me ask you something: why do you hate The Children?

      1. Why do YOU hate the Children? Forcing them into shitty schools that takes money from art and music and puts it towards union pensions.

        Funny, all the people on facebook freaking out over Devos —- not one of them went to a shitty urban school. Most are in middle / upper middle class areas.

        1. Why do YOU hate the Children?

          Have you seen other peoples’ kids?!

  7. He’s certainly taking a chance that the money won’t be as mismanaged as the pension he’s starving of donation dollars.

  8. The million dollar grant was given to the Children’s First Fund, and specifically targets south and west side elementary schools without art, music or language classes. It won’t go to the general operating budget, which is in crisis in large part due to a pension system long managed as a slush fund.

    Another instance where money is deemed non-fungible.

    1. Yeah, let’s see whether the money goes to the art teacher’s supplies or her boss’s new set of golf clubs.

  9. “It’s past time for the governor to step up, as Chicago’s taxpayers already have, and end the state’s separate and unequal funding for Chicago students.”

    And bring me a sammitch. That bastard’s never once paid any of my bills. Who does he think he is not paying for my stuff?

    1. What are the chances that Chicago schools are already funded higher than the rest of the state?

  10. Chance The Fucktard.

    CPS is where it’s at precisely because math and science are completely ignored. Chance ain’t helping along those lines.

  11. Chance The Government Bootlicker.

    http://chicago.suntimes.com/po…..y-at-2-pm/

  12. It would be better spent as an X-Prize for something like successfully eliminating the waste (government) from the education system for at least 10 years.

  13. “…Chance announced his donation yesterday, saying it was going to “support arts and enrichment programming” at Chicago public schools…”

    There goes $1m down the tubes.

  14. Lol! New-Money don’t know how to spend.

  15. And immediately the unions will grab it and waste it with no positive results ever achieved. Do not care what conditions are placed on the money, it is Chicago and the only good thing about Chicago is not living there!

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