Private schools are expected to get a $3.4 billion boost over the next decade under measures passed by federal parliament.
The new law changes the way the government calculates the income of parents to measure how much taxpayer money a school is entitled to.
Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi accused the government of rushing the bill through as parliament sat to deal with the coronavirus response.
“They still want to sneak this cash bonanza for private schools through,” she told the upper house on Monday.
Senator Faruqi said private schools were building orchestra pits, Olympic-sized swimming pools and boarding houses while public schools struggled to pay for basics.
Cabinet minister Simon Birmingham said the bill wasn’t rushed through under the cover of a crisis, arguing it was important to make funding models more equal.
“The measures in this bill will enable commonwealth school funding to be distributed more accurately,” he said.
The changes stem from National School Resourcing Board recommendations.