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Chance the Rapper Donates One Million Dollars to CPS

Chance+the+Rapper+performing
Chance the Rapper performing

Chance the Rapper performing

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Public Domain

Chance the Rapper performing

Elizabeth Neybert, Senior Writer

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On March 6, 2017, Chancellor Jonathan Bennett, AKA Chance the Rapper, pledged to personally donate one million dollars to the Chicago Public School Foundation. His organization, Social Works Chicago, will donate ten thousand dollars for every one hundred thousand dollars raised on their website.

At first glance, I belittled what Chance had done. After conversations with CPS staff and looking over the budget deficit, I came to the conclusion that one million dollars was not going to do much for CPS.

The media crowned Chance as the King of CPS and Governor Bruce Rauner, the evil villain, was sent to the dungeon. The issue encompasses far more than two individuals and is highly complex.

Although I disagree with the vilification of our governor, I would not even be researching the CPS system if it were not for Chance’s donations. He has called people’s attention to the lack of funding and inappropriate distribution from the funds within our city’s schools. According to the CPS website, “last year, however, our progress was threatened by a deficit… that peaked as a result of both soaring pension costs and a simultaneous reduction in funding, and we were forced to spend much of the year considering cuts that would have unquestionably devastated our school system.”

Although I cannot fully form an opinion and course of action on how to justly deal with the major problems that run through CPS, I can, however, congratulate a man on his dedication to helping his city.

Not only are people talking about these issues, some businesses are following Chance’s example.

Courtesy of: Alliance_Bakery on Twitter
Alliance Bakery tweets photo of cookies used to raise money for CPS schools.

Alliance Bakery, located at 1736 West Division Street, began selling Chance the Rapper cookies and donating one fifth of the profits to Chance’s organization, Social Works Chicago.

Although Saint Ignatius students are not directly affected by CPS’s current situation, they tend to know what is happening around Chicago. Some have opinions on where Chance’s money should go.

Juan Arreola ’17 hopes that the money will be used, “to pay off students’ lunch debt,” while Anne Austin ’19 thinks CPS “should focus on investing in schools, especially in early education, on the South and West sides to shelter students from violence and provide them a fighting chance to succeed later in life.”

The CPS deficit has grown too large for any one person to fix it all overnight. According to the CPS website, last year the deficit was over $1.1 billion. Expecting Chance to be able to chisel a masterpiece overnight with only $1 million was unrealistic.

Chance went to Jones College Prep and his father worked under Obama for several years.  Jones, as a selective enrollment school, was most likely well funded due to its popularity. According to the Sun Times, “A new article in the Atlantic… points out that 76 percent of city high school students chose not to attend their assigned neighborhood high school this year… CPS funds schools on a per-pupil basis. When a student heads to a new school, funding follows the child. That leaves neighborhood schools high and dry.”

Despite Chance not directly facing the woes of the students he supports, he still cares and that is an admirable quality about him. His compassion for the kids who did not have his privilege growing up leaves me amazed.

Matilda Scheftel ’18 said, “Chance often has said that Chicago made him who he is, so it is really inspiring to not only see him giving back, but being formative in the education of students today.”

There are many celebrities who come from different situations and talk about their journey to the top, but tend to forget those at the bottom. However, Chance did not do that.

As hard as it is to admit, I was wrong to judge Chance’s donation so harshly and swiftly. Interested in donating? Go to http://www.socialworkschi.org/supportcps to learn more.

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Second Glance on Chance