Supporters of the Perpich Center for Arts Education are urging state lawmakers to protect the schools current funding and organizational structure.
Governor Tim Pawlenty is proposing transforming the 20-year-old arts high school to a charter school and discontinue it as a state agency.
The school would lose more than $18 million over two years under the governor's plan.
During a House education committee hearing Wednesday, Pam Paulson, the school's senior policy director, said a switch to charter school status would prevent the Perpich Center from operating as a residential school.
"It would mean we would no longer be able to serve those rural students or really, truly be statewide. We would be limited to students who could access on a commuter basis, most likely from the metropolitan area," Paulson said.
In budget documents released last week, the Pawlenty administration said the reductions in the Perpich Center budget would be offset to some extent by increases in K-12 education aids.