Premier Colin Barnett says the Prime Minister’s proposed education reforms, which will see WA receive just $300 million from a national package of $14.5 billion, is a “terrible deal” for the State.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has offered State and Territory governments $2 for every extra $1 they invest in education, under her plan to boost school funding.

Ms Gillard today announced details of Labor’s schools improvement plan, with extra base funding of $14.5 billion over six years from 2014.

Under the plan, WA would get $300 million, compared to NSW which would receive $5 billion. Only the ACT would receive less money than WA with $100 million.

Liberal Premier Colin Barnett has long been a thorn in Ms Gillard’s side and came out on the attack against the Prime Minister’s plan.

“Under the Commonwealth’s model, there would be 25 per cent less funding per student than WA already provides,” he said.

Mr Barnett said the model presented a one-size-fits-all approach to education across the country that did not work.

“We have sought further information and clarification from the Commonwealth about the financial assumptions we have received, but to date, this has not been forthcoming,” he said.

“Julia Gillard needs to explain why NSW stands to receive 16 times more funding than WA.”

The Premier said it was “incredibly disappointing” there had not been constructive discussion about the future of education.

“As I have said before, WA will not sign up to any model that results in a reduction in State Government funding to State Government schools,” he said.

The West Australian

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