Increasingly, schools across the country and state legislators are reaffirming the importance of handwriting, both print and cursive, and are taking action to bring back handwriting instruction.
We applaud these states for incorporating handwriting—print and/or cursive—in their state academic standards. Click here to get involved.
Alabama legislators passed a law in 2016 stating students should be able to create readable documents through legible cursive handwriting by the end of grade 3.
In December 2016, the Arizona board of education announced its new academic standards for language arts, which require students to be able to read and write in both manuscript (print) and cursive by the end of grade 5.
Arkansas legislators passed a law stating that every public elementary school in Arkansas, beginning with the 2015–2016 school year, must teach cursive writing as a component of English language arts by the end of grade 3.
California’s state standards require students to create readable documents with legible print by grade 2. They require grade students to write legibly in cursive by grade 3 and legibly and fluidly in cursive by grade 4.
In 2017, Delaware’s General Assembly passed a bill stating every public elementary school must teach cursive writing by the end of grade 4 as a component of English language arts. The law took effect with the 2017–2018 school year.
Florida dropped cursive from its state standards in 2010 but added it back in 2014. The standards include cursive instruction in grades 3–5.
Georgia’s state standards have always included cursive, but revisions that took effect in the 2015–2016 school year require cursive instruction in grades 3 and 4.
Students in Idaho must print legibly in grade 1 and legibly and with functional speed in grade 2. They must write legibly in cursive in grade 3 and legibly and fluently in grade 4. Grades 5–6 students must be able to write fluently in either print or cursive.
Illinois lawmakers passed a bill in November 2017 that requires public elementary schools to teach at least one unit of cursive writing, beginning in the 2018–2019 school year, any time before completion of grade 5.
The governor gave approval to teach manuscript and cursive in the primary grades.
In 2013, the Kansas board of education adopted handwriting standards that require instruction in manuscript beginning in kindergarten and cursive beginning in grade 3.
Louisiana enacted a law in 2016 that said all public schools must teach cursive writing, introducing it by grade 3 and incorporating it into the curriculums in grades 4–12.
Maryland’s state standards include cursive instruction in grades 2–5.
The Massachusetts Curriculum Framework says students must write legibly and fluently by hand, using either manuscript or cursive handwriting, by grade 3 and must write their signature in cursive by grade 4.
Mississippi’s state standards include cursive instruction in grades 2–8.
The Missouri Learning Standards, adopted by the Missouri Board of Education in 2016, require students to be able to write legibly in print and cursive in grades 2 and 3 respectively.
State statute requires all North Carolina public schools to provide instruction in cursive so students can create readable documents with legible handwriting by the end of grade 5.
State legislators passed legislation requiring the Department of Education to develop instructional guidance for grades K–5.
Oklahoma’s state standards include cursive instruction in grades 3 and 4.
By state statute, each school district in South Carolina shall provide instruction in cursive writing to ensure students can create readable documents through legible cursive handwriting by the end of grade 5.
Tennessee enacted a bill in 2014 that requires the state board of education to include cursive writing in the course of instruction for all public schools. The board enacted new standards, which took effect in the 2017–2018 school year, that specify students must print legibly in manuscript by grade 2, learn cursive in grade 3, and be able to write legibly in both manuscript and cursive by grade 4.
State standards in Texas include manuscript instruction in K and 1 and cursive in grades 2–5.
The Utah state board of education added manuscript and cursive writing into Utah’s core standards in 2013.
Cursive writing has always been a part of Virginia’s Standards of Learning. Students in grade 2 maintain legible printing and begin to transition to cursive, and students in grade 3 write legibly in cursive.
State standards include cursive instruction in grades 2–4.
As an educator, parent, or concerned citizen, you can show your support for handwriting and help persuade lawmakers and school districts to bring back handwriting. Here’s how to share your passion about handwriting: