Cursive writing will be required in Illinois schools after the legislature overrode the governor’s veto Wednesday.
The Illinois Senate voted 42-12 to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of legislation that made cursive writing required in schools. The state House voted in October to override the veto.
The bill required all elementary schools to teach cursive writing before fifth grade but provided no funding for the curriculum. Rauner called it “yet another unfunded mandate” and said that if cursive writing would improve student outcomes, it should be included in the official Illinois State Learning Standards and funded accordingly.
The bill had passed the House with a much broader requirement; the Senate had narrowed it to elementary schools only. Advocates said cursive is still needed for signing checks and documents, and to read historical documents. Opponents said it was micromanaging schools on nonessential skills and that there are much more essential problems for schools and the legislature to manage.
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State Sen. James Clayborne voted to override the veto. State Sens. Bill Haine and Kyle McCarter were marked as “not voting,” along with three other senators. On the original bill, Clayborne voted yes, McCarter voted no and Haine did not vote.