Lawmaker wants to make cursive writing instruction mandatory

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH)- Do you think cursive writing is important? Important enough to be in every Indiana school? One lawmaker thinks so, and after years of trying, thinks she’s got it this time.

AmySue Bacon, a 3rd grade teacher said “I use it every day when I write checks, and I write letters, and sign my name on things.

Mrs. AmySue Bacon teaches cursive to her 3rd graders at St. Richard’s Episcopal School in Indianapolis.

“It allows us some time that’s very self-reflective, when we’re working on our cursive and looking at ways we can improve our process,” Bacon said.

She said cursive writing and working on handwriting can stimulate brain activity and cognitive development. She believes her students will use the skills they’re learning today, as adults.

“It’s not only a life skill, but it’s something that’s quite enjoyable and can be very kind of centering when you learn how to do that,” Bacon explained.

That’s part of the reason State Senator Jean Leising is creating legislation right now, mandating cursive handwriting be taught in Indiana schools. She co-authored a bill requiring a Department of Education study that recently found some 70% of educators support it.

Sen Jean Leising, (R) District 42 explained “I think that suddenly, we’re going to have legislators saying ‘Oh, what’s going on? Why did we quit teaching cursive?'”

For the last 6 years, Leising has tried to get a bill passed. Each time, falling flat in the House. This time, she feels like it’ll stick.

Leising explained “What happens, is our education chairman in the house apparently doesn’t think it’s necessary. So, he doesn’t give it a hearing. I think if it were given the opportunity for a floor vote, it would pass.”

Eight year old Soren Hembre, who is learning cursive in Bacon’s class, said he likes learning and using cursive in class.

“Some people might think cursive might be the best thing to do and that it’s a waste of time,” Hembre explained. “But, It’s actually very important, it should at least be recommended.”

Mrs. Bacon said she’ll keep teaching and using cursive.

“I know it’s beneficial in my class, so I think it could be beneficial for all classes,” She said.

Senator Leising said she plans on introducing that bill in January.