Building Bright Futures State Advisory Council (BBF SAC)
Meeting Minutes

June 23rd  1:30-4:00

Vermont Family Network Conference Room
600 Blair Park, Suite 204, Williston, VT

 Present: Robin Stromgren, Mary Smit, Stacy Weinberger, Trish Shabazz, Betsy Rathbun-Gunn, Rebecca Holcombe, Dave Yacavone, Kevin Mullin, Tim Volk, Mary Burns, Mark Sustic, Mary Barosse-Schwartz, Eddie Gale

By phone:  Becky Raymond

Absent: Harry Chen, Doug Racine, David Zuckerman, Bill Frank, Ben Allen, David Young

Community Partners/Guests:  Maleka Clarke, Cynthia Greene, Laura Bernard, Dru Roessle, Manuela Fonseca, Jim Squires, Matt Levin, Melissa Reigel-Garrett, Reeva Murphy, Robyn Freedner-Maguire

Staff:  Julie Coffey, Katie Mobbs


Call to Order and Welcome

Tim Volk called the meeting to order at 1:41pm and welcomed all in attendance. Welcome to newest State Council Directors David Young, Trish Shabazz and Stacy Weinberger.

Consent Agenda

Vote on February, March and April State Council meeting notes. Mark Sustic motioned to pass previous months notes with a second by Betsy Rathbun-Gunn, all members voted in favor of passing the notes.

2014 Legislative Session Highlights

  • Childcare Financial Assistance Program- Reeva Murphy

Families and providers will begin to see an increase starting July 1 and will be notified by mail.

For the exact dollar amount of this increase please refer to Reeva Murphy, also handout attached to the Building Bright Futures July newsletter.

  • Universal PreK- Manuela Fonseca

Bill H.270, Act 166; Publicly funded PreK, mandatory for districts to fund, they need to serve ages 3 and 4 for 10 hours per week 35 weeks per year. Agency of Education is now looking at next steps; rule making, something should be released by early September and a Legislative Committee will be formed by March or April. This takes effect for the 2015-2016 school year. Agencies will be conducting an analysis and needs assessment of communities; over 80% of school districts offer PreK and the number of qualified programs vary across the state. The core group working on development of rules around PreK monitoring and the process for PreK parameters are:

Department for Children and Families- Reeva Murphy, Leslie Wisdom, Ben Allen, April Allen

Agency of Education- Manuela Fonseca, Kate Rogers, Karen Edwards, Brad James, Bill Talbott, Greg Glennon

Julie commented she would like to see private sector (Building Bright Futures) to be involved in the rule making process. Many people in this room today helped advocate for Universal PreK.

  • Accountability in State Government- Dru Roessle

Results Based Accountability in State Government bill S.293. An act relating to reporting on population-level outcomes and indicators and on program-level performance measures.


(a)   This act is necessary for the General Assembly to obtain data-based information to gauge how well State government is working to achieve the population-level outcomes the General Assembly sets for Vermonters, and will assist the General Assembly in determining how best to spend taxpayer dollars.

(b)   Evaluating the results of spending taxpayer dollars will allow the General Assembly to be more forward-thinking, strategic, and responsive to the long-term needs of Vermonters and allow the Executive Branch to consider how the programs it administers could be further refined in order to produce better results.

(c)    Using the data-based information provided under this act will encourage

State government to continue to move steadily toward accountability and will help educate the General Assembly and Executive Branch on how to be more effective and accountable to Vermonters.

As the role of central convener begins to solidify there will be a natural interest in all of the programs around through Regional Council work, all full-time Regional Council Coordinators will be trained in Results Based Accountability.

Diane Snelling worked very hard to get this bill together and get the language solid, Scott Johnson and Kathleen Paterson worked on this bill as well.

Pre-K in Vermont and the US by Dr. Jim Squires

National Institute For Early Education Research report just released; NIEER annually surveys all states that offer Pre K and produces a yearbook detailing access, resources and quality.

Focus in Vermont:

  1. Dual language learners in Vermont
  2. Handled the access issue to an extent; finding sufficient qualified facilities for Pre K and qualified professionals is now the focus

Also please see Jim’s presentation attached to the Building Bright Futures July newsletter

Race to the Top- Early Learning Challenge Grant

This will be covered at the July State Council Meeting, a new grants manager has been hired!

Early Childhood Data Reporting System project description by Kathleen Paterson

Kathleen gave a brief project update and showed Council members the most up to date web page.

Let’s Grow Kids! Campaign Update by Robyn Freedner-Maguire

Robyn presented the Let’s Grow Kids Campaign video that was just released for feedback.

70 volunteers attended the field training on July 29th

Paid media; radio, TV and print to start in the fall


July 8-9th is a 2 day retreat at the Sheraton Hotel, Burlington to complete the final touches to the Statewide Early Childhood Action Plan

The proposed FY15 budget and a revised FY14 budget will be presented at the July Council meeting

Regional Council Coordinator interviews continue

Next Meeting- Monday July 28th 1:30-4

Vermont Family Network
600 Blair Park, Suite 204
Williston, VT