Building Bright Futures State Advisory Council (BBF SAC) Meeting Minutes
October 27th 1:30-4:00
Vermont Family Network Conference Room
600 Blair Park, Suite 204, Williston, VT

Present: Betsy Rathbun-Gunn, Tim Volk, Mary Burns, Mark Sustic, Eddie Gale, Bill Frank, Ben Allen, Breena Holmes, Stacy Weinberger, David Young, Monica Hutt, Trish Shabazz, Mary Smit, Reeva Murphy, Manuela Fonseca, Maleka Clarke, Charlie Biss

By phone: Chad Simmons, Dawn Powers

Absent: Harry Chen, David Zuckerman, Kevin Mullin, Rebecca Holcombe,

Community Partners/Guests: Laura Bernard, Matt Levin, Ann Dillenbeck, Cynthia Greene, Julie Cadwallader-Staub, Sue Ryan, Carolyn Wesley

Staff: Julie Coffey, Katie Mobbs, Deb McLaughlin


Call to Order and Welcome

Tim Volk called the meeting to order at 1:36pm and welcomed all in attendance. A special note to all members that this meeting is the first of several in which the Early Learning Challenge Advisory Committee members (6) will join the meeting from 3-4:30pm. This will happen once per quarter.

Consent Agenda
In regards to the September 22nd meeting notes, Reeva Murphy noted that the 4 Regional Forums to be held throughout the state were about the Pre-K Expansion Grant, not Act 166. With these corrections noted, the Board passed the minutes with Stacy Weinberger making the motion to accept with a second by Mary Smit, all members voted in favor of passing the amended notes.

Executive Committee Proposal to Restructure/Better Support Coordination of Early Childhood Action Plan

Julie Coffey referred to the power point slides that State Council members have with their agenda. Julie explained this proposed restructuring was developed and reviewed with the BBF State Council Executive Committee. This proposal will review the restructuring that will align the BBF Committee structure to support the six goals of the VT Early Childhood Action Plan. Each goal will have a working committee; there will be minor subcommittees within some of the goals. Julie reiterated the majority of these working groups already exist and this is a way to better coordinate these efforts.

Julie explained that the BBF Executive Committee will not change; co-chairs from each committee (whether newly formed or existing) will form an Operations Committee along with the newly hired Action Plan Coordinator.

The BBF website will be used as the primary tool for checking on each Committees progress as it relates to the 6 goals from the Action Plan.

Next steps: developing joint Co-Chairs for each Committee to include 1 public rep and 1 private rep.

This process will tighten up the coordination of these committees. Co-Chairs are tasked with driving agendas and making progress. Leadership organizations will be responsible for the work and reporting back problems, barriers, goals, accomplishments and results. Co-Chairs should be kept separate from the people who have responsibility in completing the work to reach the 6 goals. Strategies may be ever changing to achieve the end goal.

Stacey Weinberger asked what the difference is between the Operations and Executive Committees- Operations Committee is responsible for the Operation of the Council and the committees, Executive Committee is responsible for the Governance of the Council.

Julie gave this overview of the Committees needed vs currently existing in relation to the 6 goals from the Action Plan:

Goal #1 – Healthy Start – will have a new committee

Goal #2 – Family and Community Leadership – this is an existing committee

Goal #3 – High-Quality Services- will have a new committee

Goal #4 – Funding- will have a new committee

Goal #5 – Data Accountability – this is an existing committee

Goal #6 – Innovative and Integrated Systems- will have a new committee

What can State Council Members do right now?

  1. Join the BBF Regional Council closest to you
  2. Enlist in the BBF Speakers Bureau
  3. Enlist as a content expert for op eds, articles, web, press
  4. Join and actively engage in at least one Action Plan Committee
  5. Enlist in the Technical Assistance Bank

Pre-K Rulemaking Status by Reeva Murphy & Manuela Fonseca

The rules are complete and will be submitted in November for approval and will then go to the Secretary of State’s office for posting. There will be opportunities for written comments through the website and face-to-monitor conversations for the public comment period, which starts in January. The idea is that rules will be adopted in the spring.

There is a great need for information – especially for school districts as they are budgeting for the next fiscal year. There are a lot of questions regarding the budgeting process and proposed ADM counts. Brad James has crafted some guidance for the school fiscal managers – who is eligible, the money in the bill, supplant vs. supplement pieces, and projecting numbers of children enrolled in FY15-16 so that it does not hurt the communities going forward. Since the rules have not yet been adopted, the guidance will be interim until the rules are in place.

The guidance and pre-qualification application will be out by November 21, 2014. Parents will be able to go online and see what pre-qualified providers exist. The Pre-K region information will be available by December 1. Manuela Fonseca said that the BBF State Council and the BBF Regional Networks will also be used to help disseminate information along with existing listservs and mailing lists. The Bright Futures database will also be used at CDD to share the information.

State Pre-K Expansion Grant Proposal Status Update by Aly Richards

Aly Richards provided a Pre-K Expansion Grant update. She did acknowledge that while there is a broad-based support for Pre-K, there is recognition that the details must need to get worked out. In the incredible tight time frame, a solid application was submitted.

This grant will:

  • Take Pre-k slots of 4 year old children at 200% of poverty to take them to full-day and high quality
  • Increases comprehensive services
  • Provides a teacher in every room
  • Creates low ratios
  • Provides a salary equivalent to a K-3 teacher.

There are 36 partners – all 7 of the Head Starts and Supervisory Unions expressed interest in this grant.  All 7 and 20 Supervisory Unions were comfortable to sign letters of support & MOU’s including anticipated growth of slots over the projected 4-years of the grant. By the end of four years, Vermont will be serving 70% of 4 years olds at 200% of poverty. Only 5% of funds can be used for administrative funds which will hire two positions. One is a grant manager and the other one is a fiscal analyst.

There was an incredible effort by the Pre-K Expansion Work Group. Decisions will be made in December for a January start. The grant justified $7.2M in the 1st year and will grow to almost $10M in subsequent years.

Let’s Grow Kids Update by Robyn Freedner-Maguire

Robyn Freedner-Maguire passed around a flyer on ChangeMakers for Children – a collaboration between Let’s Grow Kids, Vermont Early Childhood Alliance and BBF. There might be a third event. This will be a chance to talk about the work of the legislative session. In the morning, BBF will present on the Action Plan, Vermont Early Childhood Alliance will be talking about the advocacy training and Let’s Grow Kids will be talking about the public education campaign after lunch.

Robyn also talked about the Let’s Grow Kids Week 2014 called “Build the Buzz”. She passed out a flyer about this too. This is set for the week of November 10th.


  • November 20th Product Viewing of Early Childhood Data Reporting System, Montpelier VT
  • Changemakers for Children: Education, Outreach and Advocacy Trainings: November 10th and 19th
  • Green Mountain Imperative: A Breakthrough Summit on Public Education: November 17-18th

Next Meeting- Monday November 24th 1:30-4

Vermont Birth to Three (Located right next to BBF office)

600 Blair Park, Suite 305

Williston, VT