State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg)
(Indianapolis, Ind.) - A local lawmaker’s proposal to once again make cursive writing a requirement in Indiana classrooms is moving forward in the state legislature.
State Senator Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) wrote Senate Bill 120 after Indiana removed teaching cursive writing from its common core standards in 2011.
The bill passed the Senate on a 36-13 vote yesterday. It now heads across the hall to the House, where a similar bill, also authored by Leising, failed during the 2012 legislative session.
In an age of digital communication where handwriting is becoming less commonplace in many situations, some have questioned whether cursive should be a requirement.
“Senate Bill 120 is about more than teaching our students to read and write cursive in the future,” Leising said. “Cursive writing is proven to encourage and strengthen other types of learning, all of which are important to child development. As a member of the Education and Career Development committee, I’m working to ensure Indiana students are receiving a well-rounded education.”
At least five other states – Alabama, California, Georgia, Kansas and Massachusetts – have already passed cursive writing curriculum requirements.
SB 120 would also require reading as a part of Indiana’s elementary school curriculum. Currently, the state’s education standards only require “language arts” with reading receiving no specific mention.
In a Wall Street Journal article published January 30, Leising said that more than 90 percent of the 1,000 constituents she surveyed supported her efforts to make cursive a requirement in schools.