The St. Paul school district is proposing a takeover of the state-run Crosswinds Arts and Science school in Woodbury.
The 6-10 grade school has been run by the state's Perpich Center for Arts Education since 2013.
St. Paul's proposal, presented at a Crosswinds meeting Thursday, would maintain the current year-round programming focused on art, environmental science and integration.
"Though it is too soon to determine what may transpire next, SPPS has expressed interest in the property, and is willing to explore next steps given its growth on the East side of the city," the district said in a statement.
The plan would add an additional grade each year starting in 2018, eventually resulting in a 6-12 school. The proposal envisions maintaining current staff, although it does not commit to keeping every position.
Crosswinds has suffered low enrollment and test scores, and a legislative audit last month suggested the Perpich Center consider giving up control.
"I think we've come to the conclusion that the best solution for the Perpich Center for the Arts going forward, and for Crosswinds, frankly, is to unhook," Perpich Center board chair Ben Vander Kooi said. "Because we're not a school district, our resources are limited ... There've been some funds diverted from the Perpich mission to Crosswinds, and as a result both schools have had difficulty."
Vander Kooi said there has been interest in Crosswinds from other school districts, but St. Paul's is the only proposal the board has received.
The Perpich Center board plans to weigh St. Paul's proposal Tuesday and make a recommendation to the Legislature. Lawmakers would ultimately need to approve transfer of the school.
Vander Kooi said the Perpich Center is also working to address other problems uncovered in the audit. The agency has a new interim executive director and plans to hire a permanent leader by summer.