LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Officials say 32 new charter schools plan to open this fall in Michigan.

Many of the schools will be in urban areas where charter schools are already prominent, such as Detroit, Grand Rapids and Flint. Other schools are planned in Lansing, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Muskegon, Waterford, Warren, Pontiac, Hazel Park, Manistee, Plymouth, Taylor, Eaton Rapids and Zeeland. Additionally, the suburbs of Beverly Hills, Center Line, Garden City, Novi and Oxford are all getting their first charter schools.

The charter schools offer options that include Montessori programs, a public safety academy, cyber schools and a school for special needs students.

Michigan Association of Public School Academies President Dan Quisenberry said in a statement that the new schools meet “very specific educational needs.” He said the new schools will be managed by educational providers that have excellent track records throughout the country.

“Michigan’s system of charter school authorizing and oversight is considered a model around the country, and as we look at the new schools opening this year, we can see why that is,” Quisenberry said. “You’ll notice that we aren’t seeing the supposed ‘flood’ of new charter schools that some critics feared. The authorizers aren’t going to charter any new school that doesn’t offer a high-quality, innovative approach.”

Of the new schools, 27 are chartered by state universities, three by local school districts, one by an intermediate school district and one by a community college.

Michigan has 276 charter schools serving about 131,000 students, or roughly eight percent of the total school-age population.

Click here for a look at the 32 new schools.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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