Private schools could receive up to 25 percent of next year’s funding in advance if they agree to open for classroom teaching and have half their students attending by June 1.
Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan wants a return to normal school attendance by the end of May.
“What we want to do is incentivise all schools across the nation to meet our goal of being open and teaching students in the classroom by the end of May,” Mr Tehan told The Sydney Morning Herald.
Current Commonwealth medical advice considers schools low risk spreaders for COVID-19, but some state governments disagree including Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.
“We can guess, or we can have an abundance of caution and I’m happy to be criticised for being cautious in this. I know what’s at stake,” he told The New Daily.
Yesterday Mr Andrews said Victoria has at least seven cases of COVID-19 that can be traced back to schools.
Schools will receive 12.5 percent if they can show they plan to open for term two and will receive the remaining 12.5 percent if they meet the attendance requirement.
Around $3 billion in funding would be distributed if all private schools in the country meet the requirements for the advance payment.
The program is an incentive for schools to end learning from home and recover from the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Schools have until Friday to opt-in to the program.