TASMANIA is on the ''cusp'' of signing up to the Gonski education reforms, Premier Lara Giddings said today.
Ms Giddings said discussions about the impact the deal would have on Tasmania's GST education funding had held up the negotiations, but said they were close to reaching a resolution.
``We are on the cusp of being able to sign, but we are not there yet,'' she said.
Ms Giddings would not rule out the possibility that the final deal would be struck in a one-on-one negotiation with Prime Minister Julia Gillard at the Australia Labor Party state conference in Burnie this weekend.
Tasmania receives $102 million a year for education funding from the Commonwealth Grants Committee, double the annual funding boost promised under the Gonski reforms.
If the GST funding was lost by signing the deal, Tasmania would receive $50 million less for education per year under the Gonski reforms.
Ms Giddings said she was not satisfied that the standard clause included in the deals between the Commonwealth and other states would protect that funding.
`We are just trying to firm up the understanding that Tasmania will not be worse off,'' she said.
``As soon as we have got that final guarantee that will not in fact be the case, then I will feel a lot more comfortable to pursue this important national reform.''
Opposition education spokesman Michael Ferguson criticised the government in question time in Parliament today for not yet signing up to the reforms.
Mr Ferguson cited reports The Examiner today that Tasmania's independent and catholic schools had struck a separate deal to ensure they would still receive extra funding even if the government did not sign up.