By Megan Powell
INDIANAPOLIS – Sen. Jean Leising, R-Oldenburg, continues the fight to place cursive writing back into the curriculum after the Indiana Department of Education made cursive optional in 2011.
Wednesday afternoon, the Education and Career Development committee met to discuss Senate Bill 73. If passed, this bill would add cursive writing back into the elementary curriculum for third and fourth grade as well as mandating reading cursive.
“The Common Core curriculum does not include cursive writing. So people that were concerned about us meeting this Common Core curriculum were focused on what’s going to be included and tested on, and they are not going to be tested on cursive writing,” Leising said.
Leising argued more cursive is being taught in private elementary schools than in public elementary schools nationwide. She believes this would prove to be a disadvantage to students coming out of public elementary schools.
“I think learning cursive is a vital part of growing up, especially during grade school,” Michael Kummer, a senior at Franklin Community High School, said. “Just think how many times you sign your name.”
“I don’t care if they can sign their name or not,” Sen. Carlin Yoder, R-Middlebury, said about his children signing their name in cursive.
Committee members had mixed feelings on the issue, with a strong opposition from Yoder.
As Indiana keeps debating SB 73, about half dozen states have made the move already to make cursive writing mandatory.
“It’s very important for children to write in cursive because they won’t be able to read historic documents,” Amanda Krause, elementary student teacher, said.
Leising asked members of the committee to look at the issue, not only looking at the issue on a state level, but on a global platform. She said Mexico recently reinstated cursive writing in their curriculum.
This bill continues to be a topic of discussion, after four years of the original reading.
“I think that it passed in four previous sessions, so this would be the fifth session,” Leising said. “Each time it passes the Senate and each time Representative Behning who is the House Education Chairman, does not give it a hearing and kills it.”
A committee vote was not taken on SB 73 Wednesday.
Megan Powell is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.