The Scottish government has pledged a funding increase of £240m for local services as he set out his draft budget.
But opposition parties said the amount of cash going direct to councils will be cut in real terms.
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay also confirmed he would not change income tax rates or bands - and would also not not replicate the UK Treasury's tax cut for higher earners.
This means the 40% income tax rate will start at £43,430 in Scotland. But it will start at £45,000 elsewhere in the UK.
The finance secretary also said £120m of government money would be given directly to schools, with head teachers deciding how the money will be spent.
The funding is replace plans to council-tax revenues to tackle the attainment gap, with Mr Mackay instead stating local authorities will keep extra cash raised as a result of council-tax reforms.