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Liberal senator threatens to torpedo Gonski 2.0 schools funding package

But Catholic schools communities, the teachers’ union and Labor strongly oppose the plan and are likely to try to make their arguments heard.Under-funded schools will get extra money faster under a deal with the Senate crossbench to secure the passage of the Turnbull government’s Gonski 2.0 plan.Education Department officials confirmed at Senate estimates hearings on Thursday that the 2017 estimates on the website do not reflect what schools have actually been allocated by the federal government this year.”I am not satisfied yet that a change from the system-weighted average through to an individual student SES model will do anything other than radically hurt the Catholic sector in Australia, and if that’s the case I can’t support it”, he said on Monday morning.Senator Birmingham said he was in discussion with Senator Back over some “technical issues” affecting the Catholic sector.The spineless PM has capitulated again, this time on school funding. The public schools, on the other hand, will earn $693 million.The National Catholic Education Commission said in a statement it had not been notified of a compromise offer. It indicates Catholic schools would lose as much as $705 million over the next four years if the changes are approved.It shows funding for NSW public schools would increase by $72 million over the next four years and $225 million over the decade compared to current legislation.Catholic education sector sources said the move, which would deliver them an estimated extra $62 million funding next year, would provide them with welcome “breathing space” but would not convince them to back the government.According to the modelling, the government’s changes would save the budget $771 million over a decade because of the hit to Catholic schools.”More accountability measures will ensure states have to do their share of heavy lifting and not shirk their responsibilities – this will unambiguously lead to a better outcome for our children in our schools”, he said.Victorian Catholic schools would be hardest hit by the government’s changes and would be $1.6 billion worse off than under current arrangements.The Turnbull government has repeatedly said it will not fund the final two years of the big-spending deals Labor struck with state governments in 2013.”Public education shouldn’t be a safety net for families that can’t afford private school fees – they should be the gold standard”, she told AAP.”It’s typical of Simon Birmingham’s attitude – ignoring Victoria while he slashes funding to our schools”.Education department figures given to crossbenchers show Catholic schools will lose nearly $4.6 billion over the next decade under the government’s plan compared with the status quo “fall back option”.”It’d be very disappointing indeed to see a secret deal between the Greens and the government on schools funding”, opposition education spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek said in Sydney on Saturday.