Assemblyman RONALD S. DANCER
District 12 (Burlington, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean)
Requires public schools to include instruction on cursive handwriting.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning instruction on cursive handwriting in public schools and supplementing chapter 35 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Each board of education shall include age-appropriate instruction on writing in cursive and on reading cursive for students in elementary schools. This instruction shall include learning activities and resources so that students are able to read cursive documents and write in cursive by the end of the third grade.
2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall first apply to the 2014-2015 school year.
This bill requires each school district’s board of education to include instruction on how to read and write in cursive in the elementary school curriculum. Cursive is defined as a type of handwriting in which all the letters in a word are connected. The ever-increasing reliance on computers and related technologies in contemporary society has left students with keyboarding skills, but lacking the ability to read and write in cursive. Yet, scientists are discovering that learning cursive has important benefits for cognitive development, and that when learning to write cursive, multiple parts of the brain are activated, as compared to typing or simply viewing letters.
In addition, documents that are fundamental to our nation’s history and laws, including the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, were drafted in cursive. So that students are able to read our most valued historical documents in their original form, can write or sign their names in cursive when required, and are enriched by any cognitive, motor skill, or other benefits that result from learning to write in cursive, this bill requires that cursive be included in the public school curriculum.