Education committee gives a nod to cursive bill

A measure directing the State Board of Education to require cursive handwriting in Idaho schools is headed for a full House vote after unanimously passing the chamber’s Education Committee.

Bill sponsor Rep. Linden Bateman made an impassioned case for his resolution on Wednesday, citing tradition — and numerous handwritten letters supporting the legislation.

Boise State University communications professor Peter Wollheim said research shows cursive handwriting improves students’ motor and composition skills.

Committee chairman Reed DeMordaunt said his son with a learning disability uses cursive to write.

But not everyone gave the bill thumbs up.

Former Democratic House candidate Steve Berch from Boise said schools should focus on adding art and music classes before cursive instruction.

Department of Education spokeswoman Melissa McGrath said education officials would tentatively get behind the measure.