Attention, students: Cursive writing could become requirement in public schools _lowres

A student types on a laptop after finishing a cursive lesson in Gen Bentley's third-grade class at Bannockburn Elementary School, September 23, 2011. The students learn both cursive handwriting and typing. (Keri Wiginton/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's public school classrooms will be required to teach cursive writing to students starting with the new school year.

That mandate, approved by lawmakers in 2016 but delayed a year so schools could prepare, is among more than two dozen new laws that take effect Saturday with the start of July.

That also marks the beginning of Louisiana's new budget year, so the most significant bills kicking in Saturday determine spending across agencies, programs and services.

The cursive writing legislation requires public schools, including charter schools, to introduce cursive writing instruction by third grade. Instruction will have to continue through 12th grade, under the measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Beth Mizell, of Franklinton.

Other laws taking effect are modest, reworking state retirement provisions and changing insurance licensing fees, for example.