Endless hours tracing loops on the page to learn cursive writing may or may not be on the way out, but they won’t be required by state law.
Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed a bill that would have required all elementary schools to teach cursive writing before fifth grade. The governor vetoed the bill on Friday, pointing out that money for the curriculum was not included in the bill.
“This legislation constitutes yet another unfunded mandate for school districts that will not protect the health or safety of Illinois students,” Rauner said in his veto message. “If the General Assembly believes that cursive writing instruction should be required in elementary schools because it will improve student outcomes, it should be included in the Illinois State Learning Standards and funded accordingly.”
The bill had passed the house 67-48, despite arguments that the bill was “micromanagement” of schools. “If the parents want cursive writing, they should tell their district,” said state Rep. Charlie Meier, R-Okawville. Superintendents argued that the state should be legislating safety and civil rights issues, not cursive writing. Others argued that there were more important things that schools needed to focus on, and abandoning cursive was a sign of the times.
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State Reps. Dan Beiser, Jerry Costello II, LaToya Greenwood, Jay Hoffman and Katie Stuart voted in favor of the bill; Meier voted against it. The House version was much broader; the version that passed the Senate 41-15 narrowed it to elementary schools only. State Sen. James Clayborne voted yes, and state Sen. Kyle McCarter voted no. State Sen. Bill Haine did not vote.
The governor also vetoed a consumer privacy bill that he said would add “an unnecessary and byzantine layer of state regulation to the use of most electronic devices.” The bill would have required businesses to get a consumer’s consent before collecting, storing or sharing location data from mobile apps.
He said federal privacy regulations are more appropriate for protecting consumer privacy. The bill was hailed by privacy advocates and opposed by online trade organizations, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Illinois would have been the first state to require permission before a company could share a user’s location information.
Rauner also vetoed a bill that would have required school board to allow community groups to post free after-school program information in a designated space on the campus, also calling it an unfunded mandate. “School personnel should be allowed professional discretion,” he wrote in his veto message.