Lawmaker Pushes Bill To Require Cursive Handwriting Classes In Schools

Mar 13, 2017

Parents alarmed by the realization that their teenagers cannot decipher cursive handwriting have inspired one Illinois lawmaker to propose requiring schools to offer a course on the art of the flowing font.

Credit "Handwriting Tag Game" by Flickr User RomitaGirl67 / (CC X 2.0)

Kids use computer keyboards for most communication these days, but what if they need to sign a legal document or read a letter from grandma?

State Representative Chris Welch, a Democrat from Hillside, says they’re going to need cursive for that. He’s sponsoring a measure that would ensure students receive at least one class in old-school slanted script. 

“I think we’re losing a whole generation. You know, you’re having folks that are 18 and above that don’t even know how to write in cursive. You know, we have historical documents that are written in cursive. They can’t write it; they can’t read it,” Welch said.

Representative Sue Scherer, a former school teacher from Decatur, says it’s a skill that’s needed.

“You can argue all you want whether they can write it or not, but they at least need to be able to read it, and in order to read it, you’ve got to be able to write it. I’m praying that you will call this bill now and move along,” Scherer said.

Opponents call his idea another unfunded mandate, but it received committee approval and is headed for a vote in the House.

A plan advancing in the state legislature would require schools teach cursive handwriting. Many schools scrapped the practice years ago, in favor of computer keyboards.

The measure has cleared committee and moved to the House floor. Opponents argue the decision should be left up to local districts.