Bill could require students in SC to learn cursive by fifth grade

A bill which would require South Carolina's school districts to teach students how to write in cursive by fifth grade advanced to the House last week.

One of the bill's main sponsors argues cursive writing leads students to write faster than print, but not everyone agrees.

In Horry County, students are already taught cursive by second grade.

"We teach them a letter or two a day and move on. They pick it up really quickly," explained Jenn Crawford, a 2nd grade teacher at Burgess Elementary School.

Crawford added that cursive lets students write faster but also helps those struggling with print. "I also notice some of my kids that have a hard time with print handwriting, they excel at cursive because they can slant it and it just lends itself nicely to the next letter."

Cursive is something students will need in their careers for anything from writing their name to signing a check, Crawford explained.

But is teaching cursive time well spent? Charles Ard, a parent, doesn't think so.

"I think that there's many other things that they should devote time and energy to rather than cursive writing," Ard explained.

Ard added that he'd rather see his kids mastering other skills, like computers. "I would think that it would be more important to teach more into the technology side then it would waste time on an old style of writing that I specifically don't even use myself."

Both Georgetown and Darlington counties already teach students cursive by second grade. Students in Florence District 1 are taught cursive by third grade.

State standards haven't required cursive writing in the classroom since 2008.