CHICAGO (CBS) — After waiting more than two weeks to meet with the governor about funding for Chicago Public Schools, Chance the Rapper emerged from their sit-down Friday visibly frustrated with what he described as “a lot of vague answers.”
However, Gov. Bruce Rauner said he’s optimistic the two can work together on possible solutions for CPS, and even suggested the two could propose legislation to introduce next week.
Chance requested the meeting with Rauner earlier this month, after the governor congratulated him on Twitter for winning three Grammy Awards. The two originally planned to get together Wednesday, but the meeting was pushed back after deadly tornadoes struck central and southern Illinois on Tuesday, and Rauner spent the next two days surveying the damage.
The rapper emerged from his meeting with Rauner at the Thompson Center on Friday afternoon, visibly frustrated, rubbing his forehead and stumbling at first to come up with the words to describe what happened.
“I’m a little bit flustered, just a little bit,” he said. “I thought that that went a little different than it should have.”
Chance explained that “I just want people to do their jobs,” and said he asked Rauner about the $215 million in state funding for CPS that the governor vetoed last year.
“I asked him about funding CPS with that $215 million that was discussed in May of last year, and was vetoed in December over, you know, political arguments and shit, and the kids are on the table right now, and we spoke for a second. It sounded like we were going somewhere. It sounds like it’s hinged on passing other bills,” he said.
Chance said he gave Rauner his personal cell number so the two could continue discussing the matter.
“He gave me a lot of vague answers, so we’ll see what happens,” he said. “He asked me where the $215 million was going to come from, you know what I’m saying?”
For his part, Rauner said he thought the two had a productive discussion, and he could not explain why Chance was frustrated with the meeting.
“We had a discussion about education and education funding; a good exchange of views on what the options are, what the possibilities are,” he said. “I think we agreed that we’re going to talk further in the coming days, and we talked about working together.”
The governor suggested the two could work together the next few days to present a school funding plan in Springfield.
“I said if he’s got a staff member or a trusted person who advises him on education issues, I’d love to talk to them too. Maybe we could figure this out in the next few days, and maybe we could together propose something on Tuesday,” he said.
Rauner said he has a lot of respect for Chance’s passion for schools, and said he believes the rapper can use his celebrity platform to speak on behalf of young people.
“Chance was very focused on getting quickly more money for CPS right now, and I share his passion,” he said. “I said it’s an incredible opportunity to change our system. If we stood together, Chance, I have some power. I have power in some ways, you have great power in other ways. If we stood together, work together to figure this out, I think we could get big things done, and I’d be excited to do that with you.”
After leaving the meeting, Chance sounded a more optimistic note on Twitter:
“Chicago Public Schools and I did not lose today. Please don’t let that become the narrative. Monday morning I’ll have a plan,” he said.
Earlier, he also had urged the media to do more to explain how CPS has ended up in its current financial crisis.
“I’m not like a press person, so I don’t know how to do this shit, but I’m just saying I want people to do their jobs. I want you all to do your jobs, as a matter of fact,” he said. “If all your publications that you guys work for … and the international and national publications out there – Complex, Billboard, people that post about me walking down the street and shit — if you guys could give a comprehensive history on how we ended up here.”