MEASURE 99 (Outdoor Education Fund): Yes

If you grew up in Oregon, there’s a good chance you attended one of the week-long “Outdoor Schools” offered to kids in fifth or sixth grade. It’s a great way for children to shut off their goddamn infernal techno devices and spend time out in the wild, studying natural science, gaining leadership skills, and learning how to protect our valuable resources.

But naturally, money’s tight, which means that nowadays, only about half of Oregon’s students are able to attend. A “yes” vote on Measure 99 would change that by creating an Outdoor Education Fund that would come from the state lottery—4 percent to be exact, or roughly $5.5 million. (It won’t take lottery money from parks, beaches, watersheds, or fish and wildlife.) And after shipping every Oregon kid off to camp for a week? Any leftover money would go toward funding other outdoor programs at Oregon public schools.

Who’s against it? Those who feel Outdoor School will drain money from economic development. But here’s the thing: You can teach kids all the natural science you want inside the classroom, but it’s no substitute for getting the firsthand knowledge that only being out in nature can provide. And smarter, more environmentally astute kids equal a more informed, better equipped workforce of the future. Vote “yes.”

Read the rest of our endorsements here.