Education Board Nominee Up For Hearing

Mar 18, 2015

The Rhode Island Board of Education was forced to open a retreat to the public after complaints filed by the ACLU. Requiring test scores for a high school diploma was on the agenda.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison

Governor Gina Raimondo’s pick to lead the State Board of Education faces a hearing Wednesday. Barbara Cottam is scheduled to appear before the Senate Education Committee. 

Cottam, who currently works as an executive vice president for Citizens Bank Financial Group, has a background in politics. She worked for governors Bruce Sundlun and Joseph Garrahy, and she’s married to Garrahy’s son, John Garrahy. The couple has two daughters, who attend a private school in Providence.

If she is confirmed by the full State Senate, Cottam will replace attorney Eva-Marie Mancuso at the head of the State Board of Education.

The board oversees K-12 and higher education and has recently been mired in controversy over plans to require test scores for a high school diploma.