California governor signs bill into law requiring students learn cursive handwriting

Cursive handwriting is making a comeback, at least in California.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law on October 13 requiring students in grades first through sixth learn cursive handwriting.

In recent years, cursive handwriting has become something associated with historical documents as students have transitioned to learning on personal computers.

But educators say learning how to read and write in cursive is not only beneficial for interpreting older documents, but for the students’ brains.

“Handwriting actually activates different parts of the brain that do not get activated when printing block letters or typing,” said Abigail Soriano-Lentz, English Language Arts Curriculum Coordinator for the East Side Union High School District.


Knowing how to read and write in cursive would also open up another world for the young students.

“A lot of the historical documents going back two or three decades are actually in cursive,” Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva told the Sacramento Bee. “I went on 23andMe looking for some family records and they were all written in cursive.”

However, the new law does come with some challenges.

“For thirteen years our teacher education programs have said cursive is not part of the standards so we have quite a chunk of teachers who have not taught it and who haven’t needed to teach it and some who probably were not taught it themselves,” Soriano-Lentz said.

California joins 21 other states that require cursive be taught in the public school curriculum.

Do you think schools should teach students how to read and write in cursive? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!