At 2:27pm, on August 30th, Delaware Governor John Carney signed House Bill 70, which will make cursive writing mandatory instruction in all Delaware public schools beginning in the 2018-2019 school year. The new (and old) instruction will require English and Language Arts teachers to teach cursive to students until the end of 4th grade.
So what happens next? I imagine the State Board of Education will issue regulations based on the new law and from there the local school district and charter school boards will have to make sure it is part of the curriculum for the next school year.
As for the fierce opponent of the bill, Kate Gladstone, she will NOT be happy about this. Ms. Gladstone travels to different states opposing cursive legislation. Me, I write a blog. She travels. We all have our thing I guess. But I don’t think Gladstone counted on the tenacity of little old Delaware. She probably thought she could just roll over our state legislature.
Congrats to State Rep. Andria Bennett for getting this rolling again and to State Rep. Deb Hudson for bringing it for in the last legislative session.
How about those apples Kate Gladstone? The Delaware Cursive Bill, House Bill #70, passed the Delaware Senate today with 17 yes and 2 no votes. Two State Senators were absent. The no votes were State Senators Gary Simpson and Ernie Lopez. Now the bill, which would make cursive instruction mandatory in Delaware public schools, will go to the desk of Governor John Carney for signature.
This was a surprisingly controversial bill this session. A prior attempt at this legislation came out in the 148th General Assembly but failed to get a full vote in the House. This time, it went all the way through the General Assembly. It created a good amount of discussion concerning the worthiness of the bill. Full disclosure, I fully supported this bill.
One of the folks opposed to the bill was a woman named Kate Gladstone. She made it her mission at the House Education Committee meeting to make sure the bill went nowhere. Obviously, most of the Delaware legislators were not swayed by her unconvincing arguments. Perhaps another state will listen to you when they follow Delaware’s lead on this Ms. Gladstone!
I want to thank State Rep. Andria Bennett who saw this bill through as well as State Rep. Deb Hudson who gave it a valiant attempt two years ago!
It looks like the anti-cursive police are done in Delaware! The Delaware House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed House Bill 70 yesterday. The only no was State Rep. Jeff Spiegelman and State Rep. John Kowalko did not vote. State Reps. Kenton, Viola, and Hensley were absent.
Some legislators reached out to me for my thoughts on this bill. Some felt this is a decision best handled by local school boards. I agreed with that, however NONE of them stepped up at all to make this a reality. I do not mind some decisions mandated by the state.
The bill did have an amendment added to it which changes the date of implementation to the 2018-2019 school year if it passes. The bill will go to the Delaware Senate Education Committee.
Cursive. Love it or hate it, I support Delaware’s pending legislation to make it mandatory. But at the House Education Committee meeting earlier this month, where the bill was released by the committee, one opponent of the bill was very adamantly against the bill. And she wasn’t even from Delaware. This got my radar up, so I looked into this woman who had such a passion against the bill. What I found shocked even me, and I’ve seen a lot of things writing this blog!
It seemed to be an even split between advocates and those who oppose the bill, but State Rep. Andria Bennett’s House Bill was released from committee today with 12 votes. Next stop, the House Ready list. Many of the folks who opposed the bill were in favor of students learning cursive but felt that was a decision best left to the local school board and not a mandate from the state. The Delaware Department of Education opposed the bill for the same reasons, along with the Delaware Association of School Administrators and the Delaware School Boards Association.
Both sides cited research or studies weighing the pros and cons of the bill. I supported it and gave public comment on how my son seemed to like cursive more than regular writing. Another advocate for students with disabilities, Robert Overmiller with the Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens, also supported the bill because of the beneficial nature for special needs students. A retired teacher supported the bill.
State Rep. Bennett said her idea for this bill came last Christmas when her own daughter was unable to read her grandmother’s cursive writing in a Christmas card. Some advocates said it is important children know how to read original historic documents, such as The Declaration of Independence. One gentleman said he would not hire someone at his company who didn’t know cursive since so many old property deeds and paperwork were written in cursive and they would not be able to understand those documents. One parent stated they were vehemently against the bill and that it shouldn’t matter if kids can read historic documents in cursive because it is all available online. She also said grandmothers are texting and using Instagram more and more these days. State Rep. Joe Miro said with our state budget deficit we should not be mandating curriculum at the state level.
If you are in favor of this bill, please contact your state legislator and let them know! I know I will call my own State Rep, Trey Paradee and ask him to support this bill!
State Rep. Andria Bennett’s House Bill 70 would make cursive writing a requirement for Delaware public education students. This is the second time in the past couple of years a bill like this came before the Delaware General Assembly. Last time, State Rep. Deb Hudson was the main sponsor of this bill but it didn’t move forward. For this legislative session, it looks like the proposed bill has a lot more Democrat support.
I support this bill. You need to know cursive to sign checks and important documents. It also promotes better penmanship for students. Many historical documents were in cursive. Thanks Rep. Bennett!