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Senator to again author bill requiring cursive handwriting instruction

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A state senator said Monday she plans to again author a bill to require the teaching of cursive writing in elementary schools.

State Sen. Jean Leising, a Republican from Oldenburg, filed a cursive writing bill each year for the last six years, and all six have passed the Senate. The bill consistently dies in the House of Representatives, where the education chairman believes the decision is best left to local officials.

Leising, in a news release Monday, pointed out a voluntary survey this year by the Indiana Department of Education showing 70 percent of teachers, principals and superintendents surveyed supported mandatory teaching of cursive writing. The survey, which had more than 3,800 participants, was released Friday.

“Cursive writing is a skill everyone should have, as we use our signature to make purchases, validate our driver’s license and sign agreements,” Leising said in the release. “I hope the results of this survey will help my bill finally get a hearing in the House of Representatives.”

State school officials decided to make cursive lessons optional in 2011. Leising has proposed her legislation each year since.

Opponents of the bill say a mandate would be micromanagement, while supporters say cursive writing is important.