HARRISBURG, PA – December 15, 2023 –  Senator Lisa M. Boscola (D-Northampton) celebrated the recently finalized 2023-2024 state budget, that freed critical funding for education, child care, and mental health programs in the Lehigh Valley and across the Commonwealth.

The finalized school code (Act 33/Act 35) and fiscal code (Act 34), signed by Governor Shapiro, deliver substantial investments in key areas:

  • A $175 million boost for public school facility improvements,
  • $261.6 million in community college funding,
  • $83.3 million (2023-24) and $124.9 million (2024-25) in child care tax credits, benefiting over 200,000 Pennsylvania families, and
  • $100 million dedicated to K-12 Mental Health programs.

Senator Boscola, recognizing the extended budget process, commented, “I was proud to support the final spending bills that came together in the end, addressing crucial needs for our communities.”

The K-12 Mental Health initiative, derived from the $100 million allocation, will disburse funds equitably among school districts, prioritizing students’ mental well-being. The allocation also supports school-based mental health internship programs, reinforcing professional development.

Moreover, Senator Boscola underscores the establishment of the School Environmental Repairs Program and the Public School Facility Improvement Grant Program. The former addresses environmental hazards, including lead abatement and asbestos removal, with a focus on high-risk projects. The latter, housed within the Commonwealth Financing Authority, will allocate grants for various school infrastructure projects, prioritizing health, safety, and security.

Boscola said, “we invested taxpayer dollars back into our community’s health and wellbeing with this budget, putting our children in a better place to learn and succeed.”