Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D – Fullerton) announced that Governor Gavin Newsom has signed AB 446 into law, making cursive or joint italics handwriting instruction mandatory in the appropriate grade levels across the state of California.
“As a teacher for over 30 years, cursive writing was always an important part of our curriculum. This is an issue of equity because access to cursive education has depended on the school district a student attends,” said Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva. “Every child should have equal access to learn cursive for their educational development.”
AB 446 aims to ensure that the younger generation is equipped with the skills needed to navigate the demands of the modern world. It addresses a growing concern that young adults who were not taught cursive writing in their school curriculum may lack the necessary skills to perform essential tasks, such as signing their names on important documents, including job applications, checks, voting forms, and medical records. Many historical documents, such as the Declaration of Independence, are exclusively written in cursive, leading to issues for those wanting to connect with writings from our history or even reading family letters or recipes from previous generations.
While cursive writing has been a part of American education for over three centuries, technological advancements have led to a decline in its teaching. As school-age children increasingly rely on digital devices for in-class and remote learning, many schools in the U.S., including California, are phasing out cursive handwriting curricula.
“Research has shown that cursive handwriting enhances a child’s brain development, including memorization, and improves fine motor skills,” continued Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva. “Cursive is a skill needed in everyday life in order to sign important documents and be able to read historical documents. This bill ensures that the younger generation is equipped with the skills needed to navigate the demands of the world of today and to connect with their history in the world of yesterday. ”
Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva represents the 67th Assembly District, which includes the Orange County communities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Fullerton, and La Palma, as well as the Los Angeles County communities of Artesia, Cerritos, and Hawaiian Gardens.