Cursive bill pens notice for legislator

Mar. 12, 2013 @ 04:35 PM

Rep. Pat Hurley’s moment in the spotlight as a legislator has come courtesy of cursive.
Hurley, R-Randolph, said that no bill that she’s been a part of during her seven-year career as a legislator comes close to generating the notice she received for her recent proposal to require cursive be taught in North Carolina public schools.
House Bill 146 would stipulate that the state’s “standard course of study shall include the requirement that the public schools provide instruction in cursive writing so that students create readable documents through legible cursive handwriting by the end of fifth grade.”
Hurley, a retired deputy clerk of court who represents northern Randolph County, has garnered publicity nationwide on her cursive classroom proposal for elementary school education. She introduced the bill last month because she fears the skill of cursive writing is fading in the digital age of communication through text messages, email and social media sites.
“Most of the correspondence has been very positive. I think people are beginning to realize that this is happening,” Hurley told The High Point Enterprise.
Hundreds of people, at minimum, have contacted Hurley’s legislative office in Raleigh to express support or opposition to her proposal.
She began to think about a cursive bill in part because she received letters from children who wrote her in block print. When her staff checked, they found there’s no statutory mandate that public schools teach cursive writing, though many in North Carolina do provide the instruction.
“I don’t know why, I just started questioning,” she said. “It’s a brain activity for children. I think technology is great. But I think cursive is good for your motor skills, your hand-eye coordination.”
Hurley said her bill, referred to the House Education Committee, could receive a hearing next week.
She said that she has been surprised by the level of reaction to her proposal. Hurley never expected it to draw attention from the likes of The Washington Post and The Seattle Times.
“People have deep feelings about it,” she said.

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