Extract from ABC News website:
A co-author of the Gonski report has labelled the new Federal Education Minister, Christopher Pyne, "a minister on L-plates" amid confusion over school funding.Mr Pyne has not yet announced a new funding model for schools after scrapping the Gonski plan that was introduced under the previous Labor government.
On Friday Mr Pyne met with his state and territory counterparts, who described the talks as "very heated" and said they fear public schools will be the big losers under the new model.
Several education ministers have being fighting to maintain the funding agreed to under Gonski, but Mr Pyne insists it is time to go back to the drawing board.
In the meantime, it remains unclear where schools funding will come from after 2014.
The former head of the New South Wales Education Department and co-author of the Gonski report, Dr Ken Boston, says the situation could bring public education to its knees.
"Gonski was a done deal. This had been signed up. Mr Abbott had talked of a unity ticket," he said.
"Now we've not only backed away, apparently, from the unity ticket, we’ve potentially backed away from Commonwealth support for public education.
"It’s extraordinary. It's almost unbelievable that a Commonwealth minister would be silly enough to take such a position."
Dr Boston says public schools would struggle to survive if the current funding formula continued.
"Assuming there's no increase in enrolments by 2016/2017, the government sector would've received an additional six per cent, a little over $300m in funding," he said.
"The non-government sector would receive an increase in funding of about $2.4 billion, which is a little over 30 per cent of their current funding.
"Mr Pyne could say it's up to the states to pick up public school funding, but no state government is in a position to find an additional 30 per cent for public schools.
"He will bring public education to its knees."