N.J. bill would require students to learn cursive in schools

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Wednesday, December 4, 2019
New Jersey introduces cursive bill
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New Jersey introduces cursive bill: as seen on Action News Mornings, December 4, 2019

TRENTON, New Jersey -- A New Jersey lawmaker has introduced a bill requiring elementary schools in the state to teach students how to read and write in cursive by the end of third grade.

Cursive was dropped as a requirement under Common Core standards in 2010.

Many schools across the region opt not to include cursive in their curriculum.

"In some cases, children are entering middle school without knowing how to sign their own name in cursive," Assemblywoman Angela McKnight (D-Hudson), who introduced the bill, said in a statement. "We are doing our children a disservice by not teaching them a vital skill they will need for the rest of their lives."

The legislation would apply to the first full school year following the date of enactment. It now heads to the Assembly Education Committee for review.

McKnight cites nearly two dozen states that have made efforts to reintroduce cursive in schools.

In 2017, Illinois lawmakers passed legislation mandating cursive.

Starting earlier this year, Ohio required the Department of Education to include supplemental instructional materials in cursive handwriting.

Next school year, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, or TEKS, for language arts will have students start learning cursive letters in second grade.

"Our world has indeed become increasingly dependent on technology, but how will our students ever know how to read a scripted font on a word document, or even sign the back of a check, if they never learn to read and write in cursive?" said McKnight. "This bill will ensure every young student in New Jersey will have this valuable skill to carry with them into adulthood."