Legislation to require teaching of cursive writing clears House panel _lowres

Advocate Photo by MARK BALLARD – Hammond Rep. Chris Broadwater, a Republican, praised legislation Tuesday, May 17, 2016, that would require the teaching of cursive writing in public schools.

A Senate-passed bill to require that cursive writing be taught in public schools won approval Tuesday in the House Education Committee.

The measure, Senate Bill 275, won committee approval without objection.

It next faces a vote on the House floor.

The legislation would require that cursive writing, also known as script, start being taught by the third grade and to be practiced through the end of high school.

No proficiency level is required.

“It is just the idea that our students will know how to write cursive, which will allow them to read cursive,” said Sen. Beth Mizell, R-Frannklinton and sponsor of the bill.

Mizell said many students cannot sign their name.

“This generation loves to be unique,” Mizell told the committee. “Your signature is as unique as you are ever going to be.”

Rep. Chris Broadwater, R-Hammond, a member of the committee, praised the bill.

Broadwater said his daughter is about to graduate from the eighth grade and has been taught Spanish since pre-kindergarten classes.

“But I am not sure if she is really, really advanced as far as her cursive writing,” he said.

Broadwater noted that the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights are written in cursive.

“I think it is significant in a child’s education,” he said.

Rep. Reid Falconer, R-Mandeville, said knowing cursive was important in his architecture training, including submitting drawings to a contractor.

“If you did not know how to letter people laughed at you in the drafting room,” Falconer said. “I think it is very important to know how to communicate with a pencil.”

Mizell said students do not have to flourish with their cursive writing.

“But at least it is in their toolbox that they can do it and they can read it,” she said.

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