The Education Authority (EA) has been asked to model cuts of up to 10% of its 2023/24 budget.
BBC News NI understands the Department of Education has asked the authority to assess the potential impact of cuts of 3%, 5% and 10%.
The Education Authority is responsible for spending the bulk of the £2.5bn education budget.
Cuts of up to 10% could mean it has to find hundreds of millions pounds worth of savings.
The Education Authority is responsible for funding schools, staff, transport, meals, maintenance and support for children with special educational needs as well as youth services.
However, BBC News NI understands that any current modelling the authority is undertaking is for information only and no decisions have been made.