If education is indeed the "patient investment" that Julia Gillard describes, the Prime Minister is in one hell of a hurry to get into an argument with the Opposition and States over it.
The PM wants to delay judgment on her education reforms for 13 years but aims to claim early credit for embracing most of the Gonski recommendations.
And while Ms Gillard refuses to detail key financial aspects of the Federal commitment to the revamp, she wants to badger the premiers into a new schools funding agreement by early next year.
In these respects, the Government's response to Gonski is more focused on the politics than the policy.
But if education is to be one of the "great contests" at next year's election, Ms Gillard will have to tell voters so much more.
Rather than telling them about how schools will look in 2025, parents will want to know how they'll be in 2014. They will also need to know how payments to schools are indexed and which schools will be better off and by how much.
The PM is shy about giving such details because they depend, in large part, on how much the Commonwealth can squeeze out of the premiers.
Gonski envisaged the States and Territories paying 70 per cent of the extra $6.5 billion a year needed, with the Federal Government picking up the balance.
It's a fair bet that the 70:30 split will not be the funding model that emerges after Federal-State negotiations - not just because States will claims they are skint but because Ms Gillard needs a deal more than the premiers do.
Then there is the question of whether $6.5 billion is a believable figure.
Under Gonski's original plans, a third of all schools would have been worse off - a proposal the Government discarded.So if no school is to lose funding in real terms, either the top-up is going to be more thinly spread or we're not being told the whole story.
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