Newman blasts Gillard's education reforms as 'misleading'
QUEENSLAND is almost certain not to sign up to the Gillard Government's education funding reforms, after a heated exchange of letters between Premier Campbell Newman and Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Premier Newman wrote to Ms Gillard on Friday last week, lambasting the federal government for "a complete lack of engagement" with the state on the reforms.
Negotiations on the reforms need to be completed in three weeks, with those states not signed up to face significant federal funding cuts, due to the expiration of existing national agreements.
Mr Newman wrote officials from the Commonwealth Treasury "have so far failed to work constructively with their Queensland counterparts".
He went so far as saying the Gillard Government's funding offer of $3.8 billion over six years was misleading, labelling Federal Labor's approach as blinkered and bureaucratic.
In response, Ms Gillard wrote that "parents, teachers and the broader community will wonder why you persist in refusing this extra money".
She wrote it "cannot be ignorance" and that 56 meetings had already been held between the state and federal governments on the issue.
In a terse 'PS' note, Ms Gillard wrote: "Reform is essential. Queensland schools were outperformed by New South Wales in every NAPLAN measure across every year level in 2012".
The correspondence exchange is indicative of a growing tension between the two governments, with repeated attacks on the state government in parliament this week, as Queensland awaits a likely election victory for its federal conservative counterparts.