N.C., ECU deal with statewide teacher shortage

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Schools across North Carolina are still dealing with a teacher shortage.

Local educators say it’s evident in the number of students studying to become teachers.

East Carolina University typically produces the most education graduates who work in eastern North Carolina.

ECU is down about 50 students from last year.

“There have been shortages for several years in all of the areas in middle grades — all the core content areas in middle grades, secondary math and science, and special education,” said Vivian Martin Covington, executive director of educator preparation. “However, in some of our rural districts now, we’re even seeing shortages in elementary, which has typically not been a shortage area in the past.”

Universities across North Carolina have seen a 30 percent decrease in enrollment in teacher education programs over the last 5 years, and ECU is struggling to find potential teachers focusing on areas of middle-grade education, science and math.

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