For decades, West Virginia public education officials have said they need more money to produce better results for students. West Virginians don't have more money.
So Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin commissioned an audit of how effectively West Virginia spends the money it does pour into public education.
The results were not pretty.
As educationalliance.org put the matter, the state ranks eighth in education expenditures relative to income and per pupil expenditures - a total of $3.5 billion in fiscal year 2010.
West Virginia also ranks seventh in salaries (not counting benefits) relative to the state's income levels.
"Unfortunately, this considerable commitment of funds has not equated to a high level of achievement," the alliance said gently.
"West Virginia students score below the national average on 21 of the 24 indicators of student performance as reported by the National Assessment of Education Progress."
That is a disservice to students and to taxpayers, and it has blighted the state's economy for decades.
The current arrangement - a state Department of Education virtually unaccountable to anyone, even the state Board of Education - has not worked for far too long.
West Virginia must change it.