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New Jersey Lawmaker Introduces Bill Requiring Students Learn Cursive

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) -- A New Jersey lawmaker introduced a bill Tuesday that would require elementary schools in the state to teach students how to read and write in cursive. Assemblywoman Angela McKnight introduced the bill that looks to help students become proficient in learning cursive by the end of the third grade.

"I know we are in the age of technology but what happens when technology goes on a blackout? What happens when you have to go and sign that check so that you can cash that check? What happens when you have to go vote and you can't sign your name," McKnight told CBS3 over a Skype interview. "And then you talk about fraud, how you sign your name, everybody's gonna sign in just regular handprint?"

In a press release, research was cited that suggests learning cursive benefits students' cognitive, motor and literacy skills. The research also says cursive may help students with learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, read and write easier.

"We are doing our children a disservice by not teaching them a vital skill they will need for the rest of their lives," McKnight said.

In 2010, cursive was dropped as a requirement under Common Core standards and many schools opted not to include cursive in their curriculum.

"Our world has indeed become increasingly dependent on technology, but how will our students ever know how to read a scripted font on a word document, or even sign the back of a check, if they never learn to read and write in cursive?" said McKnight. "This bill will ensure every young student in New Jersey will have this valuable skill to carry with them into adulthood."

The bill will now head to the Assembly Education Committee for review. If enacted, the legislation would go into effect the first full school year following the enactment.

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