Bill Shorten and his team, evidently, know something the rest of us don't know about schools funding that explains why Labor has adopted a "we refuse to be agreed with" strategy on Gonski. In question time last week, especially on Thursday, the opposition devoted most of its questions to the issue, including attacking the government on behalf of Catholic private schools. The days of the "Labor private school hit list" seem a distant memory.

But why Labor is stoutly defending the Catholic education sector, which has blatantly lied about the impact of the government's big increase in education funding and which readily allocates taxpayer funding to richer schools ahead of poorer schools, is a political mystery that has stumped any number of commentators and even Catholic-educated MPs. Instead of celebrating the Liberals' surrender on Gonski after years of resistance and multiple backflips, and promising even more funding for schools at the next election, Labor is fighting the package tooth and nail and insisting there's a $22 billion funding gap.