COLUMBUS—State Representatives Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) and Marilyn Slaby (R-Copley) today applauded the Ohio House for passing legislation they jointly sponsored that gives school districts the opportunity to teach cursive writing to students since it is currently not a requirement.

House Bill 58 requires the State Board of Education to develop and adopt a model curriculum in cursive handwriting instruction by December 31, 2018, which may be used by public schools. Once this model curriculum is adopted, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) would be required to provide this information to all Ohio schools, including community schools, STEM schools and college preparatory schools. This will allow each district to determine if they would like to implement the curriculum.

In committee testimony, Rep. Slaby outlined the educational benefits of teaching cursive writing in school. Being proficient in cursive allows children to develop improved literacy skills, fine motor skills, as well as increased cognitive development. Specifically, students with autism and dyslexia have found some benefit from learning this skill.

“I am glad children will be better able to learn to read and write cursive,” Rep. Slaby said.

Rep. Brenner in committee underscored the fact that “teaching to the test” and focusing on new modes of technology have diminished the instruction of foundational skills, such as cursive.

“Cursive writing is so much more than just learning how to sign your name to a check,” Rep. Brenner said. “For example, studies have shown that learning how to write in cursive helps student learn how to spell and read, especially children with dyslexia. I’m honored that my colleagues agree that cursive is an important and invaluable skill on multiple levels and should be made available to Ohio’s students.”

Since the bill allows districts to be flexible in their decision to teach cursive, various educational organizations and schools supported the legislation.

House Bill 58 passed with bipartisan support and now goes to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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