Measure 99 Background
In July 2014, a passionate and committed group of community leaders, deeply concerned about the legacy of Oregon’s investment in outdoor education and stewardship of our natural resources, joined together to found the Oregon Outdoor Education Coalition (OOEC). Core support came from former Metro Councilor Rex Burkholder, the Gray Family Foundation, Friends of Outdoor School, the Metropolitan Group, and Multnomah Education Service District Outdoor School, among many other partners. From there, the Oregon Outdoor Education Coalition expanded into a bipartisan statewide movement led by educators, businesspeople, and tribal and community leaders with Friends of Outdoor School, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, acting as their fiscal sponsor.
The OOEC successfully championed the passage of the historic Outdoor School bill (SB 439) in the 2015 legislative session. The bill created the structure, framework, and a management system for the first-ever statewide Outdoor School grant and assistance program. As a result of the passage of Oregon Senate Bill 439 in 2015, codified into law as ORS 327.390, Oregon State University Extension Service (OSU Extension) was given responsibility for distributing funds to school districts and education service districts (ESDs) to establish and operate outdoor school programs.
The next phase was a campaign to secure the necessary public funding for outdoor school programs via a November 2016 ballot initiative. This effort was led by the Outdoor School for All campaign and supported by the OOEC.
On November 8, 2016, Oregon voters overwhelmingly approved Measure 99: Outdoor School for All, with 34 of Oregon's 36 counties passing the Measure, and 67% of Oregon's voters approving. The passage of Measure 99 dedicated up to $22 million lottery dollars annually, establishing a permanent, stable source of funding for outdoor school and thus providing the funds necessary for every Oregon school student to have the opportunity to benefit from a hands-on week of science-based outdoor education in fifth or sixth grade.