(Indianapolis, Ind.) - A bill that would require Indiana schools to once again teach cursive writing passed committee Thursday.
On the day dubbed “National Handwriting Day,” the Senate Committee on Education and Career Development voted 7-4 to approve the bill authored by State Senator Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg). Senate Bill 120 now heads to the full Senate.
Keyboarding is still included in Indiana’s Common Core Standards adopted in 2011. In a news release, Leising said she knows that typing is an important skill for children to develop, but the state cannot overlook the value of classic handwriting.
“Child psychologists, doctors and researchers have used neuro-imaging scans to show finger movement associated with handwriting activates regions in the brain linked to cognitive, language and even motor processes,” Leising said. “In other words, cursive writing isn’t just a good ability to have. It’s not just about being able to read cursive writing in the future, eliminating a possible communication gap between generations. Instead, we are now hearing that handwriting skills are crucial for success in school, basic development and learning potential in general.”
Leising has also amended her bill to specify reading as a requirement for elementary schools in Indiana. During a meeting with new State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz, Leising learned that Indiana code currently only mentions “Language Arts” as a requirement.
The Oldenburg Republican proposed the cursive writing bill during the 2012 legislative session, but it failed to gain passage.