Outdoor School for All
In 2017, Oregon passed an “Outdoor School for All” law by ballot initiative (Measure 99) that defines a grant program designed to send the state’s 5th and 6th graders to outdoor schools for 6 days. Voters overwhelmingly approved the measure, with 34 of Oregon's 36 counties passing the measure, and 67% of Oregon's voters approving. Administered by the Oregon State University Cooperative Extension, $22 million per year from the State Lottery (4% of State Lottery income) is allocated every two years.
For an outdoor school program to receive a grant, it must do the following: host a 6-day, place-based, outdoor educational experience featuring a number of environmental topics, support required curriculum, support students’ leadership and critical thinking development, tackle outdoor education inequity, and discuss the relationships between urban and rural areas. Programs are assessed by many factors, including promoting improved test scores, reduction of classroom discipline issues, improved communication skills, and accessibility to students of all abilities. The law ensures supports for programs by providing curriculum and best practices, program evaluations, staff training, and other support.