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      Bill to require SC students learn cursive advances

      A bill requiring South Carolina's school districts to teach students how to write in cursive by fifth grade is advancing in the House.

      A House panel voted 8-0 on Tuesday to send the bill to the full Education Committee.

      Sponsoring Rep. Dwight Loftis of Greenville contends students still need handwriting skills despite the increase in digital communications. He says practical uses include being able to write faster than when writing in print.

      State standards haven't required cursive writing in the classroom since 2008. It is unclear how many districts opt to teach it to elementary school students.

      Melanie Barton with the Education Oversight Committee says the requirement ended when the state's standardized, end-of-year English test for third- through eighth-graders stopped asking open-ended questions that required writing.