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Teaching cursive would be required under Wisconsin bill

September 28, 2021 GMT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — All Wisconsin elementary schools would be required to teach cursive writing under a bill passed Tuesday by the state Assembly.

The bill’s sponsors, including former teacher state Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt, say teaching cursive will stimulate different parts of the brain and improve the education of students.

But opponents, including groups representing school boards, superintendents and administrators, oppose the measure, saying it could be a costly mandate and that instructional time would be better spent teaching more modern forms of communicating, like keyboarding.

Teaching cursive is included in state standards for education set by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. However, those are a model and not a requirement.

The bill would make the teaching of cursive mandatory. No one registered in support of the measure, while a host of school-related groups were against it.

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The Assembly passed the measure last year but it died in the Senate. The Assembly passed the Republican-backed bill Tuesday on a 59-39 vote. It now heads to the Senate. It would have to pass the Senate and be signed by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers in order to become law.

Evers is a former state superintendent of schools. The state education department which he used to lead said in written testimony that the requirement could prove difficult for students with disabilities.