CHICAGO (CBS) — Before Chicago Public School students head back to class, there is always one “last hurrah” of the summer — the Bud Billiken parade!
While it’s always a great celebration, this year, CBS 2’s Sandra Torres found the CPS funding crisis was also top of mind for many.
Chance the Rapper, who led the way as grand marshal at the annual South Side parade, donated 30,000 backpacks for children along the route.
“It means a lot to the kids — those who can’t receive things for going back to school. It helps them out a lot,” said one parent, Julie Bowman.
The parade, in its 88th year, is a tradition in the Bronzeville neighborhood.
And since education is the focus of the parade, funding for CPS was top of mind among parade visitors, as well as city leaders.
“Right now we’re suffering under a racially discriminatory funding system that has really hurt the dollars that we have for our kids here compared to the rest of the state,” said Forrest Claypool, Chicago Public Schools CEO.
And while Gov. Bruce Rauner made an appearance before the parade, he did not address the funding issue during the event.
“The state of Illinois has a responsibility not to just show up at a parade, not just to cheer, but to actively put resources that taxpayers of city of Chicago give the state and fund our education equitably and fairly,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
After the parade, a spokesperson for Gov. Rauner said, “The governor’s changes to the education funding reform bill ensure equity and fairness in how the state funds education.”