Education Minister Simon Birmingham has accused Catholic schools of scaring parents and falsely claiming the need for fee hikes.
The sector is stepping up its fight against the needs-based funding reforms, dubbed Gonski 2.0, which it says will result in fee increases for families.
But Senator Birmingham says Catholic schools will receive an extra $3.4 billion over the next 10 years so there would be no reason for fee increases anywhere around the country.
“It’s very disappointing to see some sectors are choosing to scare principals, teachers, parents with what appear to be absolutely blatant falsehoods,” he said in Adelaide.
“I urge leaders in the Catholic schools system to stop seeking special treatment and to embrace needs-based funding for Australian schools.”
But the sector has warned MPs to expect more phone calls and letters over the Turnbull government’s new funding plans.
“Catholic education has a history of running grassroots campaigns and that will be the way this ongoing effort to preserve the 200-year history of Catholic education will proceed,” National Catholic Education Commission acting executive director Danielle Cronin told AAP on Saturday.
The families of 770,000 students and 100,000 staff have been mobilised to fight for their local school as part of a large-scale campaign, she said.
“MPs and senators should expect the phone calls and letters from parents and principals to continue to roll in.”
Liberal MP Jason Falinski said money spent on a mining industry-style campaign could be better spent educating Australia’s children.
The government is delivering record funding but the “funding wars” need to stop, he said.
“People need to take off the war paint. They need to come to the table and we need to work this through,” he told ABC TV.
Fights with the states over education funding had been going on for nearly a decade, he said.
Mr Falinksi, the member for Mackellar on Sydney’s northern beaches, said his daughter went to a Catholic school.
“In fact my…