Vote on bill requiring cursive writing education could come Tuesday in Ohio House

A vote could happen Tuesday in the Ohio House on a bill requiring cursive handwriting be taught in elementary schools. (WSYX / WTTE)

UPDATE: ABC 6/FOX 28 confirmed a vote would not happen Tuesday.

A vote was rumored for Tuesday in the Ohio House on a bill requiring cursive handwriting be taught in elementary schools.

Republican Reps. Andrew Brenner and Marilyn Slaby have proposed the legislation, which would again make cursive instruction mandatory between kindergarten and fifth grade. Thirteen representatives have signed on as co-sponsors.

"We've lost a lot of the basics and a lot of the basic fundamentals that have been taught in the past in school," Brenner told ABC 6 / FOX 28 in November. "Today it's something in many schools, they don't teach it."

He said cursive could help make kids better readers and writers in the long run.

"Kids in early elementary need to get some of the fundamental basics down just for their brain development so they understand language, so they understand basic writing," he said

The state doesn't currently require that cursive be taught in schools, and it's not part of the multi-state Common Core standards on which Ohio's standards are based. However, cursive instruction is included in the state's "model curriculum" for third and fourth grade.

Brenner under his bill said children would still learn print writing first. The bill would allow local schools to decide how long to teach it and during which year of elementary school. He said he understands many parents won't like another educational mandate coming from the state.

"I taught my older children a little bit of cursive," said Lisa Merzke, a mom of three boys. "It's kind of messy."

Merzke said she wanted her kids to learn cursive so they could read historical documents like the Constitution.

"Twenty-five years from now, whoever is going to be our president, can they read our documentation?" she said.

Other parents whose children have learned it in school said they felt there were more important things for them to learn.

"I don't think it's necessary anymore," said Sharon Brickner who has two granddaughters being home-schooled. "I think if they want to print, it looks neater."

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