'Back to Basics' bill would require cursive writing instruction

Posted February 21, 2013 5:11 p.m. EST
Updated February 21, 2013 11:40 p.m. EST

— Lawmakers are hoping to reverse course on a recent education trend in which cursive handwriting instruction is abandoned in favor of other instructional topics.

Dubbed the "Back to Basics" bill, House Bill 146 would require public schools to add two traditional instructional elements back to their curricula: cursive writing and learning the multiplication tables. 

Specifically, the bill would require instruction "so that students create readable documents through legible cursive handwriting by the end of fifth grade." It would also require students to "memorize multiplication tables to demonstrate competency in efficiently multiplying numbers."

Local education officials have said cursive writing is falling out of the curriculum to make room for other subjects required by new "common core" standards being put in place. 

Rachel Beaulieu, the legislative liaison for the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, said her agency hasn't reviewed the bill and didn't have a comment on it.