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Indiana Lawmaker Pushes for Cursive Writing Requirement

By Sean Powers

A couple of years after the Indiana Department of Education made cursive writing optional in the state’s schools, there is a renewed effort to bring it back as a requirement.

With the onslaught of tablets, laptops, and smartphones, State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) said penmanship – and specifically cursive – still has an important place in society.

“What about people that want to read old manuscripts, old documents, old family history, the U.S. constitution,” Leising said. “You know, the list goes on. How about signing checks?”

Leising’s bill would require all public school districts and all accredited private elementary schools to teach cursive. 

Indianapolis Public Schools spokesman John Althardt said students in his district begin to learn the basics to cursive by 2nd grade, and that continues throughout grade school. He said there are no plans to change that course.

“Cursive writing, handwriting in general is a discipline, and I think that it is still enough that we feel it still has value in our classrooms,” Althardt said.

Sen. Leising tried to pass a bill last year to require cursive, but it failed in the Indiana House. She said she knows there are lawmakers who have concerns that requiring schools to teach cursive writing would infringe on local school district from making their own decisions.

“We don’t want to hold our kids back from being good writers, scholars, readers,” she said. “Geez, it seems like that’s a key component to success educationally.”

She said she is hopeful the chances could be better for the measure this year because the state has a new superintendent.

Categories: Education