Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s office insists it didn’t delay announcing school funding deals signed three and four months ago.
The federal government insists it didn’t delay announcing independent school funding deals with the two Labor-led states.
The government signed a deal with South Australia in June and with the ACT in July.
But Education Minister Christopher Pyne didn’t announce details publicly until Wednesday, September 24.
AAP understands the ACT government was asked in July not to reveal details until the federal minister’s office was ready.
Mr Pyne’s office disputes that, with a spokesman initially telling AAP he wouldn’t say there was a delay.
He later clarified: “There was no delay.”
Mr Pyne issued solo statements on Wednesday about funding $5.5 million for South Australia and $910,000 for the ACT from the federal independent public schools initiative.
He’s previously announced similar deals with Victoria, Queensland, the Northern Territory and Tasmania – in each case via a joint statement with the Liberal state minister.
The federal government wants its $70 million fund to be used to encourage public schools to become autonomous, with principals, rather than education departments, having control over operations.
The ACT and SA aren’t necessarily going to use the money to push schools to become fully autonomous.
The Australia Education Union, which opposes independent public schools, says those states deserved credit for standing firm and getting the cash anyway.
It says Tasmania did the same.