(CBS) — Indiana is facing a big teacher shortage, reports WBBM’s Veronica Carter. There’s been a 63 percent drop in the number of licenses being handed out to first-time teachers in the last few years.

Steven Tripenfeldas, the assistant superintendent for the School Town of Munster, says there are several reasons including low pay and cuts by the state, which has led to very low morale.

“Been a lot of politicized statements about the quality of teachers and I think there is a lot of individuals just worried about the profession in general in Indiana and worried that if they choose that, they may not be able to support a family,” Tripenfeldas.

He says teachers feel they’re under attack by state lawmakers and the governor and many are turning to other careers.

“High stake testing I think is the biggest issue that a lot of teachers and maybe even the new teacher candidates are extremely nervous about and other professions may look a little bit better,” Tripenfeldas said.

The Indiana Department of Education says in 2009 there were close to 17,000 licenses issued and last year there were about 6,000.

Districts are having the toughest time filling open positions in math, science and foreign languages.

Watch & Listen LIVE