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Amidst the political rancor of this election cycle, Measure 99 is a bipartisan bright spot that people across Oregon are embracing. Measure 99 will dedicate a small percentage of annual lottery dollars to provide funding for every Oregon fifth- or sixth-grader to participate in outdoor school. Measure 99 will catalyze Oregon’s commitment to educate our children about the science and stewardship of our state’s natural resources, and in so doing, it will serve as a bridge that connects urban and rural Oregonians through our common affection for our natural environment.

Measure 99 is projected to create many new jobs across the state, thereby promoting economic development, especially in rural Oregon. Also, schools are not mandated to participate, but funding will be available for every school that chooses to, and those that do will have to meet the same rigorous state education standards at Outdoor School as are requred by other academic programs, thereby ensuring a high level accountability.

Passing Measure 99 is an opportunity for Oregonians to actualize the high value we place on our children and on our clean and healthy environment. Oregon is known around the world for its exceptional leadership in passing model legislation — the beach bill; the bottle bill; land use planning — and right now, people around the country are talking about Measure 99. Let’s pass Measure 99 and continue our legacy of leadership by adding Outdoor School for All to that list of Oregon’s model legislation.

Jason Seivers

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Corvallis (Oct. 27)

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