Virginia S. Volker

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Virginia S. Volker
Virginia Volker.jpg
Board Member, Birmingham Board of Education, District 2
Term ends
October 22, 2013
Years in position 17
Panel of American Women
Alabama Women's Agenda
Birmingham Chapter of the National Organization for Women
Alabama Women's Political Caucus
Alabama New South Coalition
Elections and appointments
Last electionAugust 27, 2013
First electedApril 9, 2002
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sUniversity of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
Master'sUniversity of Alabama School of Medicine, Harvard University
Date of birth1940
Place of birthJasper, Alabama
ProfessionRetired biologist and educator
Office website

Virginia S. Volker represented District 2 on the Birmingham City School Board. She was first appointed to the seat in 1998 and first elected in 2002. She lost her re-election bid on August 27, 2013. Her term ended on October 22, 2013.


Volker was born in Jasper, Alabama in 1940. She earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa and graduate degrees in Human Anatomy and Public Administration from the University of Alabama School of Medicine and Harvard University, respectively. Professionally, Volker spent several years as a faculty member of the Biology Department at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, where she developed specialized anatomy programs which have been used to train many health professionals. Additionally, she has been an active community leader for decades, pioneering several organizations to advocate for civil as well as women's rights in the Birmingham area.[1]



See also: Birmingham City School District Elections (2013)

Virginia S. Volker unsuccessfully sought re-election against challenger Lyord Watson, Jr. on August 27, 2013.

Birmingham City Schools, District 2 General Election, 4-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngLyord Watson, Jr. 62% 1,510
     Nonpartisan Virginia S. Volker Incumbent 38% 927
Total Votes 2,437
Source: Birmingham Office of the City Clerk, "City Election - August 27, 2013," accessed August 28, 2013 These results are unofficial and not certified. They will be updated once certified results are available.


No campaign donations or expenditures for Virginia S. Volker were reported to the Alabama Secretary of State during her 2013 campaign.[2]


Virginia S. Volker did not receive any official endorsements for her campaign.


Birmingham City Schools, District 2 General Election, 4-year term, 2009
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngVirginia S. Volker Incumbent 68.1% 1,876
     Nonpartisan Robert V. Carter 31.9% 880
Total Votes 2,756
Source: Birmingham Office of the City Clerk, "General Municipal Election - August 25, 2009," accessed August 13, 2013

What was at stake?

Nine seats, including every board officer position, were at stake. Three members of the controversial "Gang of Five" coalition of board members were on the ballot. These members were Emanuel B. Ford, Virginia S. Volker and Tyrone H. Belcher, Sr., all of whom lost their re-election bids.[3] Incumbents Carol E. Clarke, W. J. Maye Jr. and Phyllis F. Wyne did not seek re-election.[4]

Stake takeover

On June 26, 2012, the Alabama Department of Education assumed control of Birmingham City Schools after the school board failed to pass a measure that would have cut hundreds of jobs over two years to bring the district into compliance with state law.[5] The discovery that schools in the district were operating without the mandated month of emergency reserve funds, which amounted to approximately $20 million, was another contributor to the state takeover.[6] Since the takeover, the school board has consolidated seven schools and six office buildings in an effort to save the district approximately $8 million.[6]

About the district

The Birmingham City School District was created in 1910 when the Alabama State Legislature passed a bill creating Greater Birmingham. Through this bill, 40 schools were annexed by the Birmingham Free School, most of them substandard and in disrepair. Birmingham City Schools is now comprised of 51 schools including 25 elementary schools, 11 middle schools, seven K-8 schools, seven high schools, and one alternative school.[7]


Birmingham City Schools is located in Jefferson County, Alabama
Birmingham City School District is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama, located northeast of the capital, Montgomery. According to the 2010 US Census, Birmingham is home to 212,237 residents.[8]


Jefferson County outperforms the rest of Alabama in terms of median household income, poverty rates and higher education achievement in 2011. The median household income for Jefferson County is $45,750 when compared to $42,934 for the state of Alabama. The percentage of people below poverty level for Jefferson County is 16.2% while it is 17.6% for the state of Alabama. The 2010 U.S. Census also found that 29.0% of Jefferson County residents aged 25 or older attained a bachelor's degree compared to 22.0% in Iowa[9]

Racial Demographics, 2012[9]
Race Jefferson County (%) Alabama (%)
White 54.3 70.0
Black or African American 42.6 26.5
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.4 0.7
Asian 1.5 1.2
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1
Two or More Races 1.1 1.5
Hispanic or Latino 3.9 4.1

Presidential Voting Pattern[10]
Year Democratic Vote Democratic Vote (%) Republican Vote Republican Vote (%)
2012 159,876 52.50 141,683 46.53
2008 166,121 52.15 149,921 47.07
2004 132,286 45.15 158,680 54.16
2000 129,889 47.45 138,491 50.59

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[11]

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