At the start of the 21st century, Chicago had nearly 2.9 million residents. By 2010, less than 2.7 million people lived here, a 6.9 percent decline in population. Chicago's school-age population took an even bigger hit, with the number of children between the ages of 5 and 19 falling 18 percent.There's more:
Given that decline, it's little surprise that so many schools in our city are below capacity. More than half of Chicago's public schools are underutilized, and more than 140 are less than half full. In total, there are more than 100,000 empty seats throughout the city.Yet, Rahm Emanuel sees Chicago as some sort of role model for the rest of America!