A bill that would require Indiana school districts to teach cursive writing was the focus of a legislative hearing today

In 2011, the Indiana Department of Education dropped its requirement that schools include cursive writing in their curricula, telling them that students are expected to become proficient in keyboard use.

Republican state Sen. Jean Leising says that’s troubling.

“We could be creating a generation of kids that if the battery’s dead or the power is out, they won’t know the value of a pen, pencil or piece of paper,” said Leising, the chief sponsor of a measure that would mandate the teaching of cursive writing.

Leising says the bigger concern is children could lose a key piece of their cognitive development without it, plus it’s a skill they’ll need later in their education and in the workforce.

No one spoke against the teaching of cursive writing during the Indiana Senate’s education committee hearing, although some raised concerns about lawmakers getting involved in local school curricula.

Officials don’t keep track of how many districts have stopped teaching cursive writing, but it doesn’t appear to be widespread.

A similar bill won Senate approval last year but did not emerge from the House.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."