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North Carolina's newly elected school superintendent has called for the most extensive audit ever made of the state's educational system.

Bobby Etheridge, the first new superintendent of education in 20 years, said he is contemplating a major restructuring of the educational bureaucracy, which may begin with staffing changes and reduc4tions in his own department.

State Auditor Edward Renfrow said this month he has accepted Mr. Etheridge's invitation to conduct an investigation of how efficiently state funds are used to support education.

The audit of every facet of precollegiate education, from the state level to North Carolina's 140 school districts, is expected to take up to a year to complete and will involve six teams of 20 auditors.

Mr. Renfrow said he plans to lead the audit himself. "I'm clearing my calendar off for the next three or four months," he said.

The Michigan Board of Education has endorsed a set of recommendations intended to help solve the persistent budget problems of the Detroit Public Schools.

The proposals were issued last month by a five-member panel created by the state board. Its suggestions included the creation by the legislature of the post of public-school emergency financial director. That person would be authorized to take over the district's financial decisionmaking if officials are unable to balance the budget. (See Education Week, Jan. 11, 1989.)

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