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.

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.

School Choice is the Millennial Choice

By Mike Long

When I first began teaching in the Durham Public School System in the early 1980s, cell phones were a brand new concept. Those willing to pay the $10,000 dollars (adjusted for inflation) needed to buy one of these devices earned them the privilege of selection from just a handful of options on the market at the time.

Opportunity Scholarships save taxpayers’ dollars

Contrary to rhetoric from Gov. Roy Cooper, Opportunity Scholarships in North Carolina actuallysave taxpayer dollars and direct no funds away from public education.

Surprised? You might be if you listen to all the clamor from supporters of the educational status quo in North Carolina. Gov. Cooper himself recently said that Opportunity Scholarships are “an expense we should stop.” According to reports from The Insider State Government News Service, Gov. Cooper’s office is prioritizing defunding Opportunity Scholarships to the point of using it as a bargaining chip in budget negotiations with the House and Senate.


Something is blatantly missing from the teacher pay debate

You can pretty much guarantee that year after year, teachers’ unions and their allies will make one claim: Our public school teachers are not paid enough and our public schools are underfunded. It is happening right now in North Carolina, but there is something blatantly missing from the teacher pay debate.

The Status Quo Strikes Again

OUR money.

Those are the words of the Capitol Broadcasting Company’s (CBC) latest attack on North Carolina’s Opportunity Scholarship Program. The program currently enables over 9,600 students from low-income and working-class families in North Carolina to attend the private school of their parents’ choice.

These families are taxpayers, too. But CBC is protecting systems and the status quo, playing politics, and demonizing educational choice.