Chance the Rapper names 9 schools getting $10,000 each


Zbigniew Bzdak | Chicago Tribune

Chance the Rapper holds a press conference at Westcott Elementary School in Chicago’s Chatham neighborhood on March 6, 2017. (Zbigniew Bzdak | Chicago Tribune | TNS)

Nine schools on the city’s South and West sides will each receive $10,000 through a philanthropic effort led by Chance the Rapper, the performer announced on his Twitter feed Thursday.

The rapper earlier this week turned over a novelty check for $1 million to Chicago Public Schools and challenged businesses and philanthropies to follow him in helping out the financially ailing district.

Chance also gave $10,000 to Westcott Elementary in the West Chatham neighborhood, where the announcement was made. The other schools getting $10,000 are: Nathan Davis, Mahalia Jackson and Carroll elementary schools; and Clemente, Robeson, Orr, Hirsch, Juarez and Fenger high schools.


The $1 million, which Chance said comes from an upcoming tour’s ticket sales, went to the fundraising arm of CPS. The rapper said that for every $100,000 donation to CPS that comes through his Social Works initiative, the organization would donate $10,000 to a school of its choosing.

Altogether, the 10 schools are set to lose roughly $1.2 million this year, as part of what was initially a $46 million spending freeze that landed hard on schools with mostly poor and minority students. CPS reversed course last month and returned about $15 million to the hardest-hit schools.

Of the schools getting money from Chance, the hardest-hit high schools are Juarez and Clemente, which are set to lose $482,100 and $221,100, respectively. Among elementaries, Carroll is set to lose $93,267 and Westcott faces a $75,197 cut.

Chicago Public Schools did not respond to questions about how or when the donations would be credited to the schools.

Chance has enmeshed himself in the knotty issue of how to lift CPS, starting with a meeting with Gov. Bruce Rauner last week that the rapper subsequently described as “unsuccessful.”

Rauner, locked in a budget stalemate with Democratic legislators, offered two options to provide $215 million CPS hours before Chance came out with his oversized checks on Monday.

The governor blew a hole in the school district’s budget in December when he vetoed a measure that would have provided CPS with $215 million in state aid because legislators declined to tie it to broader pension reform.


At his news conference Monday, Chance criticized the Republican governor’s efforts to fix the city’s schools. Born Chancelor Bennett, the Grammy Award-winning musician grew up on the South Side and is a product of the city’s public schools.


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