Matt Damon Refuses to Enroll Kids in Los Angeles Public Schools. Choice ok for Damon, why not everyone else? http://t.co/yHrTbakeIW— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) August 6, 2013
In a weekend interview with The Guardian, Damon, who recently relocated his family from New York to Los Angeles, said the L.A. public school system didn’t offer the kind of “progressive education” he wanted for his kids.
“Sending our kids in my family to private school was a big, big, big deal,” he said. “And it was a giant family discussion. But it was a circular conversation, really, because ultimately we don't have a choice. I mean, I pay for a private education and I'm trying to get the one that most matches the public education that I had, but that kind of progressive education no longer exists in the public system. It's unfair."
"So we agitate about those things, and try to change them, and try to change the policy, but you know, it's a tough one,” he added.
Damon first publicly displayed his passion for the public school system at a “Save Our Schools” rally in 2011, when he got into a contentious exchange with a conservative reporter over teacher pay following his speech at the event.
“I was raised by a teacher,” Damon said in his speech. “My mother is a professor of early childhood education. And from the time I went to kindergarten through my senior year in high school, I went to public schools. I wouldn’t trade that education and experience for anything.”
Bush, who is frequently mentioned as a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, has been a long-time advocate of education reform, including increased accountability for teachers that would give students at poorly performing schools vouchers to attend private schools.
Damon is a frequent target of the right for his commitment to liberal ideology. His latest movie, "Elysium," has been roundly criticized on the right as socialist propaganda.
“In the year 2154, two classes of people exist: the very wealthy, who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth,” reads the film’s synopsis on the movie website Rotten Tomatoes. “The people of Earth are desperate to escape the planet's crime and poverty, and they critically need the state-of-the-art medical care available on Elysium — but some in Elysium will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve their citizens' luxurious lifestyle.”