Our Views: The state is worried about foreign threads in Old Glory? _lowres


With the state budget about $750 million in the hole, a freshman lawmaker has decided to focus on what she apparently believes is a more important problem: penmanship.

State Sen. Beth Mizell, a Franklinton Republican, is sponsoring Senate Bill 275, which would require that “cursive writing shall be taught in all public schools at the appropriate grade levels.”

“We’re short-changing our kids,” Mizell said. “Not only can they not write cursive, but they also can’t read it, which means they can’t read historical documents or even letters from their grandparents.”

In an age of texting and computing, kids aren’t writing much script anymore, and maybe they should get more practice doing it.

But is this something for the Legislature to meddle in? Local school boards, and the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, are in a better position to establish curriculums and set priorities. Maybe one reason teachers have downplayed handwriting instruction is that they’re already too busy answering loads of other mandates imposed by those outside the classroom.

Mizell already has established herself as the legislative session’s chief busybody by pushing a bill, ultimately sidelined, that would have governed what local communities can do with their public monuments. If lawmakers pass this handwriting bill, the governor should get out his veto pen. With any luck, he’ll write legibly.