Chance the Rapper's unusual intervention into Chicago Public Schools' funding crisis took an even more curious turn Monday when the Grammy-winner presented a $1 million check to city schools and urged Gov. Bruce Rauner to use his executive powers to help the nation's third-largest district.
The Republican governor, a former venture capitalist, responded by noting his own philanthropy and floating Chicago school funding ideas that would face tough odds in the Democratic-controlled Legislature. Illinois has gone two years without a budget, the longest such stalemate of any state in nearly a century.
The back-and-forth came after a meeting Friday between Rauner and the artist — whose real name is Chancelor Bennett — that left the rapper visibly agitated. Chance asked for the meeting after he won three Grammys last month, including best new artist, and Rauner tweeted congratulations.
The Chicago native stopped at an elementary school near where he grew up to announce the donation to a schools' foundation, calling himself a "public school kid." He also accused Rauner of failing to present solutions without "caveats or ultimatums."
"This isn't about politics. This isn't about posturing. This is about taking care of the kids," he said. "Everybody and their mama knows what's going on in Chicago. We're about to enhance the conversation on supporting and funding the education of the kids in Chicago."