Earlier this month, Chance the Rapper met with Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and challenged him to “do your job” and adequately fund Chicago’s public schools (Chance subsequently put his own money up, making a $1 million donation to Chicago schools). After the meeting, Chance challenged the media, and Complex in particular, to “give a comprehensive history of how we got here.”
So, where is “here”? A 21st-century America—not just Chicago—rife with apartheid schools that serve almost exclusively Black and Brown students, are chronically underfunded, and struggle to fulfill every student’s right to the quality education that can give them a fair shot at success. An America more interested in funding the school-to-prison pipeline than public schools themselves. An America where we spend less than $10,000 a year to educate a child but anywhere from $35,000 to $64,000 to incarcerate one.