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Chance the Rapper donated $1 million to Chicago Public Schools as a 'call to action'

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Grammy-winning artist Chance the Rapper donated $1 million to Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Monday and called for Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner to use his executive powers to provide more funding. 

The Chicago-native, whose real name is Chancelor Bennett, called his donation a "call to action," according to the Chicago Tribune.

"Gov. Rauner can use his executive power to help get Chicago's children the resources they need to fulfill their God-given right to learn," Chance said Monday.

He made the announcement from an elementary school on Chicago's South Side.

"Gov. Rauner still won't commit to give Chicago's kids a chance without caveats or ultimatums," Chance added.

The donation comes after Chance's meeting with the Republican governor last week, which he said didn't go well. He told reporters that conversations with the governor continued into the weekend but were unsuccessful. 

Chance asked for a one-on-one meeting with Rauner after the governor tweeted, congratulating the hip-hop artist on winning three Grammys. 

Chance also encouraged businesses in Chicago to donate money to CPS. 

In addition to his $1 million contribution, Chance said that for every $100,000 raised, the nonprofit he co-founded, SocialWorks, will donate $10,000 to Westcott Elementary School.

"While I'm frustrated and disappointed in the governor's inaction, that will not stop me from continuing to do all I can to support Chicago's most valuable resource: it's children," Chance said. 

Former First Lady Michelle Obama, who is also from Chicago, applauded the move.

Rauner's administration released a memo Monday, detailing the various options for recovering $215 million in pension relief the governor vetoed last year. The school district had reportedly already factored that funding into its annual budget.  In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Rauner's spokeswoman Eleni Demertzis, called on officials with CPS to come to Springfield and engage in "serious good faith discussions about the long-term stability of all of our schools." She pointed out that the Rauners have donated nearly $20 million to education initiatives since 1997.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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