TRENTON New Jersey's Supreme Court says the state education commissioner has wide latitude when it comes to deciding whether to deny an application to start a charter school.

The court unanimously ruled Monday that the state was within its rights in 2011 when it rejected an application to open a charter high school called Quest Academy in Montclair.

The would-be founders of the school contended acting Education Commissioner Rochelle Hendricks rejected the application without giving it an administrative hearing.

The court said the commissioner's decision was supported by evidence in the record and that a hearing was not required.

The court said courts could overturn the ruling only if it were inconsistent with the Education Department's mandate on charter schools.