President's Perspective

Mike Long is the President of PEFNC and shares his perspective from his 35-years as an educator with experience as a middle school teacher, an AP US History teacher, a high school principal and a Head of School.

Educational Equity and the Fight to End Systemic Racism

By Mike Long

My heart is broken by the senseless loss of life over the past few weeks and months in the tragic deaths of African-American men and women like George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and others.

One loss of life is too many.

I am a 59-year-old white man who has not experienced racism and inequality as some of my friends and peers have. While I cannot fully understand how they feel, I can listen, I can learn, and I can work with my community to make change.

Students attending schools of choice need support during the COVID-19 crisis, too

By Mike Long

As our state continues to move forward with pandemic relief and economic recovery, we must realize that North Carolinians are being impacted every day, including financial hardship for families.

A time to prioritize all makes and models

By Mike Long

On March 27, President Trump signed the CARES Act into law, which includes educational stabilization funds of more than $30 billion. According to initial figures released by the Congressional Research Office, North Carolina is eligible to receive around $857 million of those funds. Good news, to be certain, during these trying times.

Schools up to the challenges of closures

By Mike Long

We are in the middle of an unprecedented virtual learning experience in North Carolina, and quite frankly, beyond our state lines, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Here at home, our public schools are currently closed through May 15 and might be cancelled through the remainder of the school year. That means school, for the majority of our state’s students, might not officially start up again until late August.

Senator Sanders and Governor Cooper want to kill school choice for parents

By Mike Long

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for president, took time out of his busy schedule to pen an op-ed for The Fayetteville Observer attacking the freedom of North Carolinians to choose the best schools for their children.

In reading Senator Sanders’ piece, it appears that he is in perfect lockstep with our own Governor, Roy Cooper, who has championed the cause of ending school choice in North Carolina, calling the Opportunity Scholarship Program “an expense we should stop.”

Elections matter

By Mike Long

You have probably heard the phrase "Elections have consequences." If you want to see a tragic example of this, look no further than Pennsylvania.

During last night’s State of the Union address, we heard about Stephanie Davis and her daughter, Janiya, a 4th grade student who has suffered for years in low-performing traditional public schools in Philadelphia. As a hard-working single mother, Stephanie wanted something better for her daughter. So, she applied for Pennsylvania’s tax-credit scholarship program.

It’s time to celebrate each and every educational choice

As published by EdNC here

When you hear the phrase “school choice,” what pops into your head? There is a lot of misinformation out there about what school choice is and what it means. While many individuals assume that school choice only refers to programs for private schools, the term applies to a wide array of quality educational options.

Grateful for ‘opportunity’ this Thanksgiving season

By Mike Long

We’re entering the season of thankfulness. And while we’re grateful for so many things—family and friends, a roof over our heads, enough food to eat, and much more—this Thanksgiving season I can’t help but think about a word that I’ve heard over-and-over again from families in our state.


Education Establishment: You’re still not listening

By Mike Long

Fall began but a few days ago. The traditional calendar school year is officially underway for North Carolina families, many nearing one full month of instruction to kick off the school year.

One Incredible Reason Why 20% of NC Families Are No Longer in the Public School System

By Mike Long

Lately I have been asked why 20 percent of North Carolina families are no longer in the public school system—a number that is growing by the day.

Let me share a real story to illustrate one of the reasons. Out of respect to the family involved, I have kept their identity anonymous. But I believe this story sadly illustrates how frequently “the system” puts its own priorities above the interests of individual families, forcing them to explore other options or flat out flee.