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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The North Carolina House wants public school students to brush up on the basics with mandatory instruction in cursive writing and multiplication tables.

House members unanimously passed a bill Thursday requiring public schools to teach cursive writing and multiplication tables in elementary schools. Rep. Pat Hurley of Asheboro sponsored the bill, and he argued cursive writing is an essential skill for any adult and it helps children develop mentally.

Hurley said the issue came to her attention after a group of fourth graders sent thank-you notes for a visit entirely in print. She said she sent inquiries to every school district in the state asking whether they require cursive instruction, and most of the 62 that responded told her it's optional for teachers.

The bill now goes to the Senate.

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