More Michigan students could soon learn cursive

Michigan schools aren’t required to teach cursive
Whether or not kids learn to read and write in cursive depends on where they go to school.
Published: Apr. 7, 2023 at 5:42 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Students in Michigan may soon be required to learn cursive. There’s a proposal in the state legislature that would mandate Michigan’s education department create a cursive program.

Whether or not kids learn to read and write in cursive depends on where they go to school. Michigan schools aren’t required to teach it, but some teachers are taking it upon themselves to make sure kids have the skill.

“It’s definitely something that’s important for children,” said Dawn Schneider.

Schneider has five kids in two different school districts.

Her younger kids, who are going to school in Lenawee County, are taught to write in cursive, but her older kids in Hillsdale County aren’t’.

“My son signed some forms the other day and was trying to apologize to the other person. He was like ‘I’m sorry, I don’t know how to sign my name so I’m going to have to write it out,’” said Schneider.

Schneider is one of many parents supporting a change to state law requiring the state education department to develop a cursive writing program and make it available for schools. The proposal would also strongly encourage schools to adopt the program.

“I think it’s a good idea, all kids should know how to do cursive. It’s easier on their life when they get a job,” said Schneider.

Nate Timperley’s kids are also taught to read and write in cursive, but he feels it’s because it’s tradition. He’d rather see other skills taught in class.

“American sign language would be a much more useful investment in time because then kids are actually learning a completely different way of communicating that might be more valuable,” said Timperley.

He said that’s because cursive isn’t common outside of school.

“In a professional career at 45, I basically never use cursive in my daily life,” said Timperley.

Despite that, Schneider said learning cursive is an important life skill.

“It’s important for children to have signatures,” said Schneider.

The cursive writing proposal will have a hearing in the House education committee Tuesday. If the legislature and governor sign off, the program would be expected to be in place in the fall of 2024.

There are 21 states where students are learning how to write in cursive, including Indiana and Ohio.

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