The Turnbull government will invest an extra $1.2 billion in schools but seek to impose new conditions on the states and territories to get the money.
The new funding to be unveiled by federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham on Sunday falls more than $3 billion short of what was promised under Labor's Gonski school reforms, setting the scene for a major election campaign fight with state governments and teachers.
The money will be part of a $73.6 billion schools package to be included in Treasurer Scott Morrison's first budget on Tuesday.
Labor has ensured education will be an election battleground by promising to spend an extra $4.5 billion on the nation's schools between 2018 and 2020, fully funding the Gonski agreements it struck when last in office.
Mr Birmingham acknowledged the Coalition's pledge fell well short of Labor's but said the Opposition's plan was only about money, not results.
"While Bill Shorten has promised more money for schools, Labor is ignoring the decades of significant funding growth yet declining performance," he said.
"For all Labor knows, their extra funding will be used to build a second or third sports shed or pretty up a school gate rather than addressing the generational deficiencies of our schooling system."
This of course is absolute rubbish! This is another attempt by Birmingham to belittle state schools. State schools don't build extra sport sheds or beautify their grounds! This is not what we do with our scarce funds! He's thinking of the 'elite' private schools that will probably also get this funding! Today's Murdoch papers are already happily peddling the Coalition lies.
As part of the Coalition's new education plan, Year 12 students will have to reach a minimum standard of literacy and numeracy skills before leaving school and, within a decade, all students will be required to complete an English or humanities subject and a maths or science subject before attaining an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR).
It would also link teacher pay to performance, rather than time served, and ensure principals are properly qualified before being appointed.
School funding negotiations at the March meeting of the Council of Australian Governments ended in stalemate after the states roundly rejected a Turnbull government proposal to give them full control, in a bid to neuter the Gonski debate. State ministers have been urging the government to match Labor's commitments.
Polling has consistently shown strong community support for Gonski, a needs-based model that directs taxpayer dollars to schools in low socio-economic areas.
The Coalition went to the 2013 election promising a "unity ticket" with Labor on the policy but backflipped shortly after winning power.
The Victorian education minister, James Merlino, said the federal government offer of $1.2bn over three years was “nowhere near enough”.
“People won’t be fooled by this,” Merlino said. “The difference between the federal government funding their obligation under the Gonski agreement and not in Victorian schools is $1.1bn.
“What they are proposing is $1.2bn across the whole of the country and over three years. Victorians are going to be hundreds of millions of dollars worse off and they are not going to be fooled.”