Former first lady Michelle Obama on Monday took to Twitter to laud Chance the Rapper’s decision to donate $1 million to Chicago Public Schools after he was not entirely happy with the outcome of his meeting with Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner.
“Thanks @chancetherapper for giving back to the Chicago community, which gave us so much. You are an example of the power of arts education,” Obama tweeted late Monday, the same day the artist announced his donation and presented a check at the Westcott Elementary School in Auburn-Gresham.
The Chicago Public Schools require $215 million to make the $721 million payment to its pension fund, which is due in June, or face a trimming of the school year by two weeks. After the governor vetoed the $215 million — which it had been counting on — the district has already cut $46 million from its budget for the year.
“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,” the artist, who is a product of the district’s education system, said during a news conference at the elementary school. “Gov. Rauner still won’t commit to give Chicago’s kids a chance without caveats or ultimatums.”
“Gov. Rauner, do you job,” Chance urged the governor, as he said politics should be separated from education.
“Our kids should not be held hostage because of political positioning,” Chance said. “This isn’t about politics. This isn’t about posturing. This is about taking care of the kids. Everybody and their momma knows about what’s going on in Chicago… but we’re about to enhance the conversation.”
The money donated will come from ticket sales for the artist’s upcoming tour.
Chance has also been a vocal supporter of the former first family and even launched a #ThankUObama collection last month, a clothing line-cum-art project inspired by the Obamas.