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Bills to enact Gonski pass Senate, some states not signed up

Queensland Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek repeatedly said he would not be signing up under the current offer.
Queensland Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek repeatedly said he would not be signing up under the current offer. Allan Reinikka

UPDATE 3:45pm: Victoria has come to the Gonski negotiation table with an offer to inject $3.5 billion into its school system, despite remaining opposed to the actual reforms.

The announcement by Victorian Premier Dennis Napthine was made during state parliament sittings on Wednesday.

He said he had made the alternative offer to Canberra to ensure the governance of the state's school system stayed in Victorian hands, despite trying to still attract the extra Commonwealth funds.

It comes as the Senate passed the Australian Education Bill on Wednesday, making the extra funds and new system available to New South Wales, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.

The extra funding will also be available in independent schools around the country, but not in state schools in any state not already signed up.

That list included Queensland, where negotiations between Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek and his federal counterpart Peter Garrett are understood to have stalled.

Ms Gillard said during Question Time the passing of the bill through both houses secured the future of the reforms first laid out five years ago.

 

EARLIER: Laws to enact the Gonski school funding reforms passed the Senate on Wednesday, but several states remain unlikely to sign up to the key Gillard Government reform.

With only four days left to actually negotiate a deal with Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, the Australian Education Bill passed.

However, while the bills essentially put in place the framework for the reforms, it would only apply to those states already signed up.

Both the Queensland Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek and WA Premier Colin Barnett have repeatedly said they would not be signing up under the current offer.

Mr Barnett told Radio National on Wednesday he remained concerned some schools in his state would be worse off, despite an increased funding offer from the Commonwealth.

Schools Education Minister Peter Garrett previously hit out at Mr Langbroek for not accepting the commonwealth's existing offer, but has not increased the offer to that state either.

Topics:  gillard government, gonski, school funding, senate


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