UPDATE: NC Senate Approves Bill Requiring 5th Graders Know Multiplication Tables, Cursive

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The General Assembly appears ready to pass a law requiring North Carolina public schools to teach old-school lessons of cursive writing and multiplication tables.

The Senate voted by a wide margin Thursday in favor of a bill directing state education leaders to ensure students are instructed how to write legibly in cursive by the end of fifth grade. Students also would be taught to memorize times tables.

A bill with identical content passed the House three weeks ago, but the legislation can't go to Gov. Pat McCrory's desk yet because they are two separate pieces of legislation. One bill must be approved by two chambers.

Bill proponents have been worried because cursive isn't part of the "common core" curriculum North Carolina and more than 40 states now implement.

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Some North Carolina lawmakers want to require that school children learn how to write and multiply even in today's modern world.

A legislative committee on Tuesday approved a proposal to change state law and require public schools to teach cursive handwriting and force students to memorize their multiplication tables. The proposal now moves to the House budget-writing committee.

The back-to-basics bill approved by the House Education Committee directs schools to teach handwriting so that students can write legible documents before finishing fifth grade.

The proposal had little opposition. But some legislators wondered if fifth-grade teachers would be held accountable for students who didn't develop their skills. Others noted the bill doesn't define how to judge students' competency in multiplication.