Outdoor School 
Funding Program
"I learned things about myself, like the fact that if you're confident in yourself enough, you can do anything. I will always remember my Student Leader for the rest of my life."
- sixth-grade student
Who We Are
In 1957, a hands-on field science program called Outdoor School (ODS) launched in Oregon. It is an opportunity for students in fifth or sixth grade to move from their school classrooms into the outdoors to learn...

On November 8, 2016, Oregon voters passed Ballot Measure 99, authorizing funds from the state lottery to provide all 5th or 6th grade students in Oregon access to a week of Outdoor School.

  • Locally and statewide, Outdoor School networks need to be built and strengthened.
  • We'll help OSU Extension, schools, ESDs and camps facilitate a smooth, successful transition to state-level funding.
  • We will be deeply involved in ensuring that the new funding remains secure from possible Legislative or other action.
  • Contact Kim Silva at Kim@friendsofoutdoorschool.org with questions about Friends of ODS.

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Why Outdoor School?

Lawmakers Approve State Budget, Includes $24M for ODS

Outdoor School Funding to Begin Fall 2017

Friday, July 7, 2017, the Oregon Legislature formally approved the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) 2017-2019 biennial budget, which includes $24 million in lottery funds for Oregon State University (OSU) Extension to administer a statewide Outdoor School program during its first two years.
 
The full state budget package will be delivered to Gov. Kate Brown for her consideration. Last fall, Gov. Brown announced her enthusiastic support for Outdoor School funding (Measure 99), and we anticipate the HECC budget will be signed as approved by the Legislature.
 
Measure 99, passed by voters in November 2016, directs $44 million of Oregon Lottery dollars per biennium—or $22 million annually—to the new statewide Outdoor School program. The first of its kind, the program will provide a full week of Outdoor School to all fifth- or sixth-graders enrolled in Oregon schools that choose to participate, as authorized in Measure 99.
 
All state programs faced serious cuts as lawmakers worked to bridge a $1.6 million budget gap during its 2017 legislative session. Early proposals included delaying implementation of the Outdoor School program and only funding students in the second year of the biennium. Advocates worked hard to help the Legislature understand that OSU Extension will be ready for the fall 2017 school year and that the program should begin immediately. The approved budget allows this to happen.
 
Receiving $24 million rather than the full $44 million for the program’s first two years is not the outcome that Outdoor School supporters had originally expected after Measure 99 passed. However, it likely will take two years before schools across Oregon are fully ready to participate in the program. Friends of Outdoor School, the Gray Family Foundation and other involved organizations are hopeful that $24 million will provide sufficient funding for OSU Extension to create and administer the new state program, and to fund all schools that wish to participate in the next two years.

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What's Next for Friends of ODS

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Questions?

Outdoor School Statewide Funding Resources

Please find more information about the Outdoor School for All law (SB 439) and the effects of Measure 99 in this comprehensive FAQ. This will be updated as new information becomes available. To ask questions and comments directly to OSU Extension, please submit them here.