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Should Michigan schools teach cursive? Some say yes.

child doing cursive
  • House Bill 4064 would encourage the Michigan Department of Education to develop or adopt a cursive program
  • Schools would get to choose whether they teach cursive or not
  • The Michigan Department of Education supports the bill

Michigan schools could have more reason to teach students cursive in the 2024-2025 school year, if a bill sponsored by State Rep. Brenda Carter, D-Pontiac, is approved.

House Bill 4064 would encourage the Michigan Department of Education (MDE)  to develop or adopt a “model program of instruction on cursive as a type of penmanship.”


Traditional public schools and charter schools would also be “strongly encouraged” to use the cursive program, according to the bill. 


Lawmakers approved an amendment from State Rep. Dylan Wegela, D-Garden City, that would allow MDE to create a list of model cursive programs rather than one specific program. 

Carter told the House Education Committee Tuesday that teaching students cursive would help students with their cognitive and memory skills.

A 2020 study analyzed children and young adults’ brain activity when they wrote in cursive, typed on a keyboard or drew a picture. Findings showed that each of these activities are different and that an “optimal learning environment” includes all three. 

Carter presented a letter that her son, who later died, had written in cursive as a child and Carter gave the letter to her 9-year-old granddaughter. 

“So the bottom line of this is: This letter here was written 25 years ago, but my granddaughter was able to read it because she could read in cursive,” Carter said. 


There is currently no state curriculum for cursive, MDE Spokesperson Marty Ackley told Bridge. 

Both the Michigan Department of Education and Oakland Schools submitted cards in support of the bill.

MDE does not expect to incur new costs since model cursive programming already exists, according to analysis from the nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency

Carter proposed a similar cursive bill in 2019 and the House unanimously approved the bill in September 2020. But the bill never passed out of a Senate committee.

There are 21 states that require students to learn cursive, according to MyCursive, a website with cursive tutorials and curriculum.

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