Make your home page

Bill amended to require cursive writing instruction in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A measure to require Indiana schools to teach cursive writing passed the Indiana Senate on Tuesday.

But, if past history is any indicator, the bill may go no further. 

House Bill 1640, which lays out multiple requirements for teaching subjects, was amended to require the teaching of cursive writing in each school corporation, charter school and accredited nonpublic elementary school before it was approved 31-18 by the Senate.

A news release said the amendment came from State Sen. Jean Leising, a Republican from Oldenburg. The amended measure now returns to the House for consideration. That chamber is where the cursive writing measure has died in each of the last seven sessions.

“Cursive writing was not made a Common Core standard in the past, so numerous schools stopped teaching this valuable skill,” Leising said in the release. “As a result, many of today’s teenagers do not have a signature to validate their driver’s license or sign agreements. People in our community have stressed to me the importance of this skill for years, and I have worked to make it an educational requirement for eight consecutive legislative sessions. If signed by the governor, I believe this bill would greatly benefit our students by strengthening their educational foundations and preparing them for tasks required outside of school.”

Leising also noted in the release that within the last year, Illinois, Ohio and Texas have joined the majority of states in requiring the teaching of cursive in elementary school. Also, she said, many private schools in Indiana have continued to teach cursive, creating a disparity between public and private schools. 

Supporters of eliminating the teaching of cursive have pointed toward increased communication via keyboards, and the small proportions of adults who use cursive for day-to-day writing. They also argue students should have more important skills than cursive writing as part of their Common Core standards.