Could Pennsylvania mandate cursive be taught in schools?

13 December 2023- Rep. Joe Adams (R-Wayne/Pike) announced today he will soon be introducing legislation that would require cursive to be taught in Pennsylvania’s schools.

“Being able to write and read cursive is a fundamental and necessary skill for everyone to learn. Our founding documents like the Constitution and Declaration of Independence are written in cursive. People sign their names in cursive, and official documents often require writing in cursive to memorialize business,” Adams said.

“When students are no longer taught how to read and write in cursive, they find themselves unprepared to learn from our history or be engaged in conducting business across the Commonwealth.”

According to the proposal, the legislation will require instruction in cursive handwriting or joined italics to be taught in the appropriate grade levels. Should the legislation become law, it would make Pennsylvania the 19th state in the nation to legislate a requirement for basic instruction in cursive handwriting.

“Recent studies indicate that learning cursive has many developmental benefits including increased hand-eye coordination, critical thinking and increased self-confidence in students learning how to write in cursive,” Adams noted. “The added benefit of learning to write in cursive is the creation of a written self-identity that can separate human work from that of Artificial Intelligence and stymie plagiarism. It is clearly critical that the basics of this important skill be required in the classroom.”

You can read the co-sponsorship memo outlining the proposal here: https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20230&cosponId=41861