TALKING POINTS FOR EMAILS TO WAYS AND MEANS BUDGET COMMITTEE MEMBERS
- If possible, please sign your letter and email it to us as a PDF
- Email your letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org (All letters will be gathered and personally delivered to the Legislature by our lobbyist)
- If you are writing on behalf of a supportive business, please use your letterhead
Email Subject line: M99: Outdoor School Funding
- Introduce yourself (full name and why you are writing).
- Acknowledge kindly that the Legislature is facing difficult budget decisions. Indicate that you understand that in light of the State’s fiscal challenge it is unlikely that the full $44 million approved by the voters will be allocated in the next two years.
- Insert your personal reason for supporting Outdoor School and encourage the Legislature to provide enough funding, even if it’s not the full $44 million, for all schools that want to send their 5th or 6th grade students to Outdoor School during the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years. (2-3 sentences—see potential talking points listed below). Talk about:
- Your relationship to Outdoor School — attendee, teacher, parent, etc.
- How Outdoor School impacted your life, or the lives of others
- Why Outdoor School is important for Oregon’s students
- Close by urging them again to provide Measure 99 funding beginning July 2017, and sign with your name and mailing address.
Potential Talking Points
- Hands-on Learning: Outdoor School provides students with hands-on science learning they simply cannot get in the classroom, experiencing our natural resources and the outdoors while interacting with students from different schools and different backgrounds.
- Opportunity for Every Child: Whether a student lives in Portland or in rural Oregon, every child deserves to attend, regardless of their zip code or family income.
- Improved Classroom Learning: Research shows that kids who attend Outdoor School perform better in class, testing scores rise and they become more motivated to learn. Outdoor School directly supports STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) learning and meets state education curriculum standards.
- Keeps Kids in School: Research shows that school attendance goes up for kids who go to Outdoor School. And, when kids stay in school, they do better at life.
- Less Screen Time, More Outside Time: The average teen spends an average of seven hours a day in front of a screen. Outdoor School gives students a chance to unplug from video games and phones. It also helps to combat obesity and depression, and it re-connects young people with the wonders of science and nature.
- Shared Experience as an Oregonian: Outdoor School unites our citizens in a way that no other state investment can. Every student will have the experience of learning about our natural resources in the outdoors, while meeting and interacting with students from different schools and different backgrounds. Outdoor School not only teaches life skills, it is the one place where students can get a larger sense of what it means to be an Oregonian.