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Measure 99 passes, dedicates funding for Oregon outdoor school

In this Oct. 6, 2016 photo, two Outdoor School students walk through the dense forest to a lesson at Camp Howard in Mount Hood National Forest near Corbett, Ore. The outdoor education is unique to Oregon and is a rite-of-passage for public school students that's meant to instill a respect for nature in each generation - studies show it improves attendance and boosts test scores. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Oregon voters approved Measure 99, the ballot measure that takes a portion of the state’s lottery money to create the Outdoor School Education Fund.

The program will help preserve the nearly half-century old tradition of sending fifth and sixth-grade students to camps across the state to learn about Oregon’s natural wonders.

Oregon is now the only state to have dedicated funding for outdoor education, according to the North American Association for Environmental Education.

Meas. 99 was written to take up to $22 million from the lottery Economic Development Fund to send 50,000 students to outdoor school.

Supporters said they wanted to see the preservation of what has become a rite-of-passage for many Oregon students.

Many opponents thought that the measure would take millions of dollars away from the lottery fund that would be better suited for other programs.

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