Douglas Ragland

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Douglas Ragland
Douglas Ragland.jpg
Candidate for
Board Member, Birmingham City School Board, District 1
Elections and appointments
Last electionOctober 8, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sUniversity of Alabama-Birmingham
Master'sUniversity of Alabama-Birmingham
OtherUniversity of Alabama-Birmingham
Campaign website

Douglas Lee Ragland was a candidate for the District 1 seat on the Birmingham City School Board. Ragland received enough votes in the general election on August 27 to continue on to the runoff election held on October 8, 2013. Ragland was defeated by Sherman Collins Jr in the October 8, 2013 Runoff Election. His campaign focused on remedying issues in the district including financial limitations, poor academic performance and declining enrollment.


Douglas Ragland earned Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Elementary Education and Educational Leadership from the University of Alabama-Birmingham. He later received an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Ragland worked for 34 years as an educator with stints as superintendent for Green County School System and Midfield City School System. He currently resides in Birmingham with his wife, Teresa.[1]



See also: Birmingham City School District Elections (2013)

Douglas Ragland ran for the District 1 seat on the Birmingham City School Board against fellow challenger Sherman Collins, Jr. Collins and Ragland defeated incumbent Tyrone H. Belcher, Sr. and challenger Jerry Tate in the general election held on August 27, 2013. Green Calhoun, Jr. withdrew from the race on August 5, 2013.[2] Since no candidate received a majority of the vote, Collins and Ragland continued on to a runoff election on October 8, 2013.[3]

Birmingham City Schools, District 1 General Election, 4-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSherman Collins, Jr. 30.3% 970
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngDouglas Ragland 27% 862
     Nonpartisan Tyrone H. Belcher, Sr. Incumbent 24.4% 780
     Nonpartisan Jerry Tate 18.3% 585
Total Votes 3,197
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.

Birmingham City Schools, District 1 Runoff Election, 4-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSherman Collins, Jr. 62.8% 544
     Nonpartisan Douglas Ragland 37.2% 322
Total Votes 866
Source:, "Birmingham Election Run Off Results," accessed October 9, 2013 These results are unofficial and not certified. They will be updated once certified results are available.


As of August 28, 2013, no campaign donations or expenditures for Douglas Ragland had been reported to the Alabama Secretary of State.[4]


Douglas Ragland did not receive any official endorsements for his campaign.

Campaign themes

Ragland's campaign website identified the following problems in Birmingham public schools that must be remedied "in order for our school system and community to be on a world-class status in terms of leadership potential in producing the best and the brightest students":[5]

  • "We are financially distressed with less than one month's reserves and are under state intervention."
  • "Academically depressed with 17 schools or 36% of the district's schools not making Adequately Yearly Progress (AYP), 11 schools or 23% of the district's schools on the Alabama Accountability Failing School List as failing schools, and a 55% graduation rate."
  • "Parent apathy resulting in poor parental involvement."
  • "Shrinking enrollment every year resulting in millions of lost dollars."
  • "Lack of competitive extracurricular academic activities in exposing our children to the best of the best nationally and worldwide."

What was at stake?

Nine seats, including every board officer position, were at stake on August 27, 2013. 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.[6] Incumbents Carol E. Clarke, W. J. Maye Jr. and Phyllis F. Wyne did not seek re-election.[7] Districts 1, 4 and 6 held runoff elections on October 8, 2013.[8]

State 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.[9] 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.[10] Since the takeover, the school board has consolidated seven schools and six office buildings in an effort to save the district approximately $8 million.[10]

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.[11]


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.[12]


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[13]

Racial Demographics, 2012[13]
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[14]
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.[15]

Recent news

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See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. Committee to Elect Dr. Douglas L. Ragland, "About Dr. Ragland," accessed July 23, 2013
  2. Birmingham Office of the City Clerk, "Updated 2013 Sample Ballot," accessed August 15, 2013
  3. Jeremy Gray,, "Collins, Ragland in runoff for Birmingham's District 1 school board race (updated)," August 27, 2013
  4. Alabama Secretary of State, "Search FCPA Reports," accessed August 28, 2013
  5. Committee to Elect Dr. Douglas L. Ragland, "Issues," accessed July 23, 2013
  6. Marie Leech,, "Three incumbent Birmingham school board members voted out (update)," August 27, 2013
  7. Marissa Mitchell, ABC 3340, "Qualifying candidates for Birmingham mayoral, city council, school board races," July 12, 2013
  8. Brianne Britzius, Fox 6, "William Bell wins new term as Birmingham mayor," August 28, 2013
  9. Sherea Harris and Brianne Britzius, Fox 6 WBRC, "State will take over Birmingham schools starting Wednesday," July 3, 2012
  10. 10.0 10.1 Evan Belanger,, "Birmingham schools intervention could stretch into fall 2014, education official says," June 27, 2013
  11. Birmingham City Schools, "History of the Birmingham City Schools" accessed July 16, 2013
  12. United States Census Bureau, "Guide to 2010 Census State and Local Geography - Alabama," accessed August 13, 2013
  13. 13.0 13.1 United States Census Bureau, "Jefferson County Quick Facts," accessed August 13, 2013
  14. Alabama Secretary of State, "Elections Information," accessed August 14, 2013
  15. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014