RALEIGH- State Superintendent June Atkinson is concerned about a growing teacher shortage in North Carolina. 

She says over the last five years there’s been a thirty percent drop in the amount of university students in North Carolina seeking a career in education. 

Atkinson says low teacher salaries are partly to blame, but recruitment and retention need to be top priorities.

"It is important that we have an effective teacher in every classroom in this state.  Our state cannot afford to have just substitutes and people in the classroom who are not prepared,” said Atkinson.

Last week superintendents from across the state said during a meeting with lawmakers that this is the first year they’ve seen a significant shortage in elementary school teachers in addition t othe normal shortage of math and science teachers.