Qld signals Gonski rejection

AAP, with a staff reporter

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman appears to have ruled out signing up to the federal government's school funding reforms, saying it was "increasingly unlikely that a mutually acceptable agreement can be reached" by Labor's self-imposed June 30 deadline. 

The Australian says it has obtained the letter Mr Newman sent to Ms Gillard on Friday.

In the letter, Mr Newman says it is "increasingly unlikely that a mutually acceptable agreement can be reached by the 30 June 2013 deadline".

This is because of funding uncertainty and the federal government's "lack of understanding," it says.

News last week that the ACT government has agreed to Prime Minister Julia Gillard's Gonski education reform pact was overshadowed by signs that Victoria and South Australia are increasingly unlikely to sign onto the reforms. 

The ACT and New South Wales are the only two signatories to the Gonski pact.

Ms Gillard has pushed hard to have deals in place by the end of June so she can legislate the reforms and campaign on her education platform in the lead-up to the September federal election.  

Premier Campbell Newman has spent the past month gathering feedback from principals across the state on the federal government's Gonski education package.

He said last month he would wait for the feedback before penning a letter to the prime minister.

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Ra ra policy announcement - feel good TV advertising of being tops in education (even before any agreements in place or details provided) - try to commit the states to fund with very little detail on the plan and how the money will be spent. It is a continued recipe for federal policy failure. There needs to be lots more work first detailing the policy - again deja vu in a string of policy announcements. This government needs to be subjected to the kind of scrutiny what business has to go through before getting their boards to sign off on a major initiative. For this government there is no board to be accountable to (the Senate has just be a rubber stamp "house of review," and that has proven the problem for a string of policy debacles. Plus there is the contradiction of more funding via Gonski yet at the same time announcing Australia will be tops in education yet pulling money out of universities.