The states have complained they are still being kept in the dark over proposed school funding reforms, with one minister pulling out of Friday's meeting with the federal government amid fears it would achieve nothing.
Federal School Education Minister Peter Garrett will not reveal at the meeting of education ministers in Sydney how much of the annual $6.5 billion boost to education spending recommended by the Gonski review the states will be expected to contribute.
And he will tell the states that the school funding model will not be finalised until 2011 schools data becomes available in late February.
Queensland Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek - who earlier this year likened the school funding reform process to ''Chinese water torture'' - said ''the time for talking is over''.
"I won't be attending the meeting because I am visiting schools that have been affected by the Queensland floods and my fear is that this meeting will achieve nothing,'' Mr Langbroek said.
Victorian Education Minister Martin Dixon said he would not sign up to something if he didn't know the detail. ''It's almost 12 months since the [Gonski] report was released and we haven't come a long way,'' Mr Dixon said. Despite the ''disturbing lack of detail'', the federal government expected to have the school funding reforms ''wrapped up and announced … within a month or two''.
''There are so many basic questions that are still unanswered - we want those answered,'' he said.
West Australian Education Minister Peter Collier said it was unlikely there would be agreement from the states to proceed any further until the Commonwealth came forward with a funding proposal.
''It continues to be disappointing and frustrating that the Commonwealth is still yet to provide the states with any proposed funding model, particularly in light of the Prime Minister announcing the date for this year's federal election yesterday, an announcement which is meant to provide the electorate with certainty,'' Mr Collier said.
Mr Garrett will tell the states the federal government will discuss the financial impact of the new model and negotiate funding when the most recent data and complete modelling is available.
He will also warn that better information about school performance and transparency is a non-negotiable element of additional funding from the federal government.
The states have resisted the Commonwealth's push for greater transparency over results and funding.
At a Council of Australian Governments meeting last year, the states disagreed with four out of six measures to improve accountability, including tracking progress to meet the goal of being in the top five education systems by 2025, improvement strategies for schools and more information about school improvement on the My School website.
New South Wales Education Minister Adrian Piccoli said the Commonwealth had asked all ministers to come to Sydney for the meeting so he was expecting to hear far more detail.
ACT Education Minister Joy Burch was hopeful significant progress could be made. She said given a strictly needs-based approach to funding reform would mean that some ACT schools would lose funding, a modified funding model would need to apply for the territory to ensure no school was financially disadvantaged.