Last week, Chance met with the Governor Rauner to urge him to allocate more money for to Chicago Public Schools. Chance characterized the governor's answers during their talk as "vague".
Chancellor Bennett's father, Ken Bennett, is the director of his son's SocialWorks organization.
Gov. Rauner has put out a memo for two options on how the district will plug the $215m budget gap. TIF funds are typically used to promote investment and economic development, but developing legislation would allow Mayor Rahm Emanuel to approve a one-time transfer of $215 million from Chicago's TIF funds to CPS. Any growth goes into a fund for economic development. Both proposals were rejected by both city and CPS officials. The district, which is the third largest in the country, warned last week that it would have to make cuts to its summer school program and shorten the school year by about 3 weeks, which would save roughly $96 million, if the state does not intervene. This isn't about celebrities, and it's not about Governor Rauner; everyone needs to do their job.
Mahoney's second idea is to break off the pension piece of a "grand bargain" budget package that recently fell apart in the Illinois Senate. "He's trying to do something for the city". Currently, CPS has a $129 million budget deficit that could cause the school year to end 20 days early. The other involved a revised education bill.
"While the Rauners are passionate donors to our schools, individual contributions will never be enough to address the financial challenges facing CPS", Rauner spokeswoman Eleni Demertzis said in a statement.
Chance spoke in front of a backdrop of books, flanked by the eighth grade officers, honor roll students, and a few lucky kids plucked at random ("We had to do a lottery just because it happened so fast", Principal Dockery explained).
"As a private citizen, as a parent, and as a product of CPS, I ask that you guys join and fight with me", Bennett said.
Rauner previously vetoed plans for funding the schools in a dispute with the legislature over ballooning pension costs. "As an artist and after-school teacher, I know the arts are invaluable". So, Chance made a decision to hold a press conference at Wescott Elementary in Chicago today specifically so he could talk about the city's public schools and his plan to help them.