Tennessee Kids May Be Forced to Learn Cursive Popular bill will require teaching it in 3rd grade By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Mar 11, 2014 4:02 AM CDT 113 comments Comments A student practices both printing and cursive handwriting skills. (AP Photo/Bob Bird) (Newser) – Only around half of schoolchildren in Tennessee still learn cursive handwriting but lawmakers want to save it from becoming a lost art. A bill before the state House will make it mandatory for kids to learn how to read and write cursive, probably in the third grade, and it has proved so popular with both parties that is expected to sail through unless lawmakers attempt to attach more controversial measures to it, reports the Tennessean. The bill was authored by a GOP lawmaker who learned that some students couldn't read assignments written by their teachers, the Columbia Daily Herald reports. "Not only do kids not know how to write cursive, they don’t know how to write, period,” says another Republican lawmaker, who doubles up as a schoolteacher. "The style is really rather tragic, to see some of the materials we have to read."