House passes law requiring cursive writing in Illinois schools

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill.  — Don’t toss the grammar-school composition paper yet.

The Illinois House approved legislation 67-48 Wednesday requiring elementary and high schools to teach cursive writing.

The sponsor is Chicago Democratic Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch. He says it’s important that tech-savvy children to retain cursive writing to read historical documents, write personal notes and sign documents.

Republican Rep. Steven Andersson of Geneva says cursive does not help develop young minds any better than printing. He says a legal document doesn’t need a signature but only a “mark.”

GOP Rep. Mike Fortner of West Chicago says cursive styles change. He says modern readers don’t readily recognize the cursive of the Declaration of Independence.

Welch emphasizes cursive would be required in short-term classroom units. It would not be required year-round.