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Seconds out! Matt Damon and Jeb Bush scrap over school choice

As pseudo-political spats go, it doesn’t get much bigger. Jeb Bush, the man tipped as a challenger for the presidency in 2016, has launched a stinging attack on Hollywood superstar Matt Damon over his decision to send his children to private school.

Mr Bush, son and brother to two US presidents, branded the actor a hypocrite on Twitter after Mr Damon revealed in a UK newspaper that he intended to go private when it came to his children’s school.

The former Florida governor tweeted: “Matt Damon refuses to enroll [sic] kids in Los Angeles Public Schools. Choice ok for Damon, why not everyone else?” 

The Bourne Identity star, who is promoting his new film, Elysium, has been a very vocal supporter of America’s public school system in the past. The son of a teacher, Mr Damon even spoke at a “save our school” rally back in 2011, in which he gave an impassioned defence of the public school education he enjoyed and of teachers in general.

But the actor has recently moved from New York to Los Angeles and said he was planning on sending his children to private school because he felt the public school system could no longer provide the same education he was given.  

The pronouncement led to the outburst from Mr Bush, a former Florida governor who has become a major advocate for education reform in the US, championing the increased role of charter schools, in particular, as well as calling for greater school choice. He has even backed the notion of providing parents with vouchers to send their children to private school.

It won’t surprise many to learn that Mr Bush sent his own children to private school, but it proves there is nothing that makes a right wing politician shout “hypocrite” quicker than when someone from the left decides to follow suit. Just ask London MP Diane Abbott.

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