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Maine kids won’t be forced to take cursive handwriting lessons

A bill that would have mandated cursive handwriting instruction for Maine public school students in third through fifth grades effectively died in committee Monday afternoon.

Members of the Education and Cultural Committee voted unanimously against recommending LD 387, sponsored by Rep. Heidi Sampson, R-Alfred, for passage in the Legislature.

“Virtually every skill that would be gained through cursive … could be acquired through the development of other skills,” said Rep. Michael Brennan, D-Portland. “I’m not convinced that we need to have cursive writing in order to increase retention of information, [or to] improve social communication and fine motor skills.”

Instead, committee members, including Brennan, all agreed to pen a letter to the Maine Department of Education’s Standards Review Committee urging them to consider incorporating cursive instruction into curriculum for students in that age bracket.

Sampson, who said Monday she did not want to see the Legislature “mandate” a cursive requirement, was satisfied with writing a letter.

“If we can help to nudge us in the right direction, I’m all in favor of it,” she said.

This article originally appeared on www.bangordailynews.com.

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