Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd Contributed

Catholic schools sign up to $1.6b Gonski deal

CATHOLIC schools across the country have signed up to the Gonski school funding reforms, after the Federal Government put $1.6 billion on the table.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd signed the deal with the National Catholic Education Commission on Tuesday, putting more pressure on the remaining states to sign up.

It is understood the deal included a $600 million sweetener from the government to convince the 700,000 student-strong sector to sign on.

Mr Rudd said the deal would also lock in funding growth at a rate of 4.7% from 2014, "providing certainty for schools through to 2019".

With the August deadline for the school funding reforms approaching, the government has only days left to convince Queensland, Western Australia, Northern Territory and Victoria to sign up.

The Australian Education Union has called on each state and territory government to "act immediately" to ensure public schools do not miss out on the funding.

Union federal president Angelo Gavrielatos said it would be "nothing short of a travesty", if the remaining states did not sign up.

His comments come after Queensland Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek labelled Mr Rudd a "charlatan".

Mr Langbroek told ABC Radio in recent days there was no point in having any more negotiations.



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