Building Bright Futures State Advisory Council (BBF SAC) Meeting Minutes
January 26, 2015 2:00-4:00
Building Bright Futures Conference Room 600 Blair Park, Suite 305, Williston, VT

Present: Tim Volk, Mary Burns, Mark Sustic, Eddie Gale, Ben Allen, Reeva Murphy, Manuela Fonseca, Trish Shabazz, Stacy Weinberger, Charlie Biss, Maleka Clarke

By phone: Betsy Rathbun-Gunn, Mary Smit, Chad Simmons, Deb McLaughlin, Loli Berard, Kim Keiser, Dawn Powers, Robin Stromgren

Absent: David Zuckerman, Kevin Mullin, Rebecca Holcombe, Bill Frank, David Young, Monica Hutt, Pat Moulton

Community Partners/Guests: Laura Bernard, Matt Levin, Carolyn Wesley, Melissa Riegel-Garrett, Robyn Freedner- Maguire, Julie Cadwallader-Staub, Bethany Hale

Staff: Julie Coffey, Katie Mobbs, Cynthia Greene, Beth Truzansky

Call to Order and Welcome

Tim Volk called the meeting to order at 2:05pm and welcomed all in attendance, this is Tim’s last meeting as BBF Co- Chair.

Consent Agenda

The Board passed the minutes from November 24, 2014; Mary Burns made a motion to accept with a second by Mark Sustic.

Present new slate for Executive Committee by Tim Volk

Mary Burns, Co-Chair for private sector Rebecca Holcombe, Co-Chair for public sector Eddie Gale, Secretary

Mark Sustic, Member at Large

Treasurer:   _ open for nominations

The board voted to approve the proposed slate; Trish Shabazz made a motion to accept with a second by Stacy Weinberger.

Blue Ribbon Commission Update by Robyn Freedner-Maguire

This has been included in the Governor’s Budget. Now need to work with this legislative session, the hope is that this commission is fully formed by July 1. Robyn detailed that it will take 18 months to hear testimony throughout the state about the cost/affordability of childcare and other areas funding could come from. Robyn handed out an information sheet about the Blue Ribbon Commission detailing the work and purpose; this can be found on the BBF website.

The question was asked “how are you defining high quality?”

NAEYC accreditation and 4 & 5 STAR programs

“How are you defining affordability?”

This has not been defined; the hope is to look at a sliding scale

“Does this come with an Appropriation?”

Yes, this includes staff time

Act 166 Implementation by Reeva Murphy & Manuela Fonseca

Due to the great feedback we received after filming the Pre-K guidance discussion previously held, we decided to tape the ACT 166 discussion here today. A link to this will be posted on the BBF webpage.

FY16 State Government Budget Cuts to AHS & AOE by Reeva Murphy

Cuts were made to the Child Development Budget- Very difficult discussions but the Secretary was insistent that positions not be cut.

AHS/DCF budget cuts:

Currently $479,000 goes into Child Care Referral- by centralizing child care referral that would give the ability to save $200,000. 211 would take on child care referral piece for $279,000

Strengthening Families Project- $250,000 is saved for the projects, $200,000 was lost; however, Ken Schatz is looking for more funding.

Typically ask for an increase for Child Care Financial Assistance Program- $1.3 million was the ask for 2016, did not receive that but the program is level funded for the first time in six years.

AOE budget cuts:

Early Education Initiative Grant- the Early Education Initiative (EEI) grant program was established by the Vermont Legislature in 1987 to provide early education opportunities for three and four year olds who are at risk. Currently $1.1 million goes into this, looking to cut much of this for the coming year; however, specific details are not available.


  • March 11th is Early Childhood Day at the Legislature
  • The “How Are Vermont’s Young Children?” report publishes in February

Next Meeting- Monday February 23, 2015, 2-4pm