Supporters of a bill requiring all Nevada third graders to master cursive fear the upcoming generation will be unable to sign their names on important documents.
“Cursive writing is a skill,” Lynn Chapman, vice president of Nevada Families for Freedom, said Thursday in a Senate committee hearing. “It’s something I think all children should have the opportunity to learn.”
But both state and Clark County education officials said they could not throw their whole support behind the idea, citing concerns with the cost to create and implement new standards and the time that teaching cursive would take away from other topics.
“We just want you to consider this and how crunched the school day already is,” said Craig Stevens, the director of intergovernmental relations for Clark County School District.
SB 86 was presented by Sen. Don Gustavson, R-Sparks, during a Senate education committee meeting Thursday. The committee, which Gustavson serves on, did not act on the bill.
This is the second session in a row Gustavson has attempted to require cursive in the state standards. The 2015 bill died in committee.
On Thursday, Gustavson cited other states that have re-introduced cursive, and he cited studies that show cursive has both cognitive and neurological benefits.
“Once learned it is never unlearned,” he said. “If the student cannot perform cursive, then they cannot read cursive.”
Cursive is not required in the Nevada Academic Content Standards. The state standards are based on the Common Core standards and were adopted in 2010.
Stevens and Mary Pierzynski, from the Nevada Association of State Superintendents, reported that some teachers do teach cursive, but they did not have firm numbers on how many do so, or their methods.
“Some of them are incorporating it in their journaling that they do,” Pierzynski said. “There are apps for the computer where you can learn cursive.”