CANBERRA, Nov 26 - The Federal Government has been accused of deception. Its pre-election promises on schools funding are under the microscope in what could be Prime Minister Tony Abbott's first big credibility test. Against the political odds, the previous Labor Government locked in most of the states and territories to a needs-based funding model guaranteeing an escalating flow of money over six years. The model, funded to the tune of $15 billion-plus and based on a report by businessman David Gonski, was to deliver schools a base-per-student amount, with loadings for various disadvantage. New South Wale's Liberal-National government - which operates the nation's largest school system - was the first to sign up to the so-called Gonski model in April. Premier Barry O'Farrell declared it would guarantee his state "additional resources and fairer distribution to deliver higher standards and better outcomes in schools". It would also end past debates about public versus private funding systems, he said. During the federal campaign, Abbott effectively neutralised schools funding as an issue for the coalition by appearing to side with Labor. "As far as school funding is concerned, Kevin Rudd and I are on a unity ticket," he said. "We will make sure that no school is worse off." Now, 12 weeks from the election, Education Minister Christopher Pyne says he'll only guarantee the deals signed for 2014, and establish a new system from 2015. While he argues the early money will be within Labor's "funding envelope", the minister also claims the budget cupboard is bare and it would be irresponsible to put monies on the taxpayer credit card. Pyne also has a problem with the "strings" attached to the funding and will examine issues such as teacher quality, curriculum and greater decision-making by principals. The response to the government's decision has been scathing. O'Farrell urged Pyne to "pick up the phone and explain what the hell is going on". Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says the coalition's pre-election promise was no more than an attempt to shut down a damaging debate. Teachers have labelled it a deliberate deception and called on the education ministers, who meet with Pyne on Friday, to hold the federal coalition to account. Recent polls indicate Abbott's post-election honeymoon is over, or at least fading fast. Public perceptions of a broken promise won't help its standing in future polling. AAP