The Greens threat to amend the federal government's school funding reforms is ''silly'' and risks hurting students, according to School Education Minister Peter Garrett.
Speaking to Fairfax Media on Friday, Mr Garrett said the Greens bid have changes made to the mining tax by threatening other measures such as the Gonski education funding model is ''futile''.
Garrett: Greens 'pointless gesture'
Backpacker tax backdown
Plebiscite merry go round
Labor condemns same-sex smear
'Back to the bad old days'
ISIS losing ground
Cyber threats significant: Turnbull
Australia's safety concerns
Garrett: Greens 'pointless gesture'
School education minister Peter Garrett says the Greens' 'miss the point completely' on Gonski education reforms, with their threat to delay its passage through amendments if the mining tax is not revised.
Just days after announcing that the formal alliance with Labor, forged in 2010, is over, Greens leader Christine Milne will announce on Friday plans to amend the $6 billion Gonski enabling bill in the House of Representatives to ensure funding goes to the poorest schools first.
Senator Milne will use a speech to the Australian Education Union conference in Melbourne to build pressure on the government to fix the mining tax, which raised only $126 million in its first six months. It was forecast to raise $2 billion in its first 12 months.
Mr Garrett said the Greens were seeking to delay legislation that would provide additional resources to schools.
''This is a particularly pointless gesture on the part of the Greens and seems to miss the point completely that the Gonski reforms and a new national plan for school improvement will see additional resources go to those schools that have got great student need,'' he said.
''We don't want any unnecessary delays and I'm surprised by this rather silly gesture from the Greens.''
With the current funding model due to expire at the end of 2013, Mr Garrett said it was ''absolutely critical'' that the parliament passed legislation to allow funds to flow to schools in 2014.
''Anything that happens in the parliament that frustrates or delays the implementation of that model would be a bad thing for the education of Australian students.
''This is a highly important reform that will change the shape of the nation for the future, and give every child the opportunity to reach their potential,'' he said.
''To have a gesture of this kind from the Greens at this stage . . . threatens to delay it which would be unacceptable to parents and to the teaching community Australia wide.''
Asked whether the government could afford to implement the Gonski reforms given the mining tax had raised much less revenue than expected, Mr Garrett said: ''We've always said that we will make the structural adjustments necessary in the budget to support the important reforms like the national disability insurance scheme and a national plan for school improvement.''
Senator Milne said in a statement on Friday that the Greens would be ''doing all within our power'' to get the Gonski legislation passed soon.
The Greens amendment would push for the most disadvantaged government schools to be prioritised for any additional Commonwealth funding, the statement said.
''We would anticipate the government would back such a common sense amendment, however, the Greens will not be doing anything that would prevent the implementation of Gonski this year,'' Senator Milne said.
In a speech to the National Press Club earlier in the week, Senator Milne announced the end of the formal alliance between Labor and the Greens, but pledged to continue to vote against no confidence motions and for supply bills in order for the parliament to continue until the September 14 election day.
She said that Labor's priorities now lay with mining interests and it had effectively ended the alliance with her party.
The government has committed to delivering the schools blueprint this year but needs the support of the national Parliament, the states, and the Catholic and independent schools sector.
Shell legislation is before the lower house but key details of the new funding model remain unspecified.