Under pressure to certify a revised budget before the first Island annual town meeting convenes next week, the regional high school committee and administrators are struggling to reach consensus on the size and scope of budget cuts.

“All town agencies are tightening their belts in their own ways: firefighters, policemen,” Kimberly Kirk, chairman of the high school district committee, said at a meeting Monday. “They are looking to us to see if we are doing our part.

For the past two weeks, members of the school committee and administration have been hashing out different ways to reign in a previously approved $23.2 million budget by over $1 million, roughly the amount it was increased from last year. The goal, each member said, is to level fund the budget and spread cutbacks across the board so that no individual department bears the full weight of reductions.

Items considered for the chopping block include heating oil, transportation fuel, supplies, professional development programs, annual post-employment benefits contribution and some long-term capital projects.

Significant salary reductions at all staff levels are also being considered, but a standoff with the teachers’ union has complicated that process.

School administrators, who are not part of the union, have surrendered their cost of living increase, for a savings of about $42,000. The teachers’ union, however, has rejected a similar concession, which would have yielded savings of about $210,000.

Leading up to the high school committee meeting on Monday, which was attended by 148 staff members at the school, it appeared as if the committee would continue in the direction of a $1 million reduction. The idea of level funding the budget to last year’s budget was previously approved at a high school committee meeting two weeks ago.

But superintendent of schools Matt D’Andrea opened the meeting Monday by saying that after receiving guidance from the towns of Tisbury and Oak Bluffs, he did not believe the full $1 million budget reduction was necessary. Instead, he suggested cutting the budget by just over one per cent — totaling about $278,000 in cuts.

“I am proposing that we step back before we level-fund this budget, which would decimate it, and impact our students tremendously,” Mr. D’Andrea told the committee. “We need to consider the guidance that the towns have given us . . . they are saying a one to 1.5 per cent budget reduction would be helpful at this time.”

The new proposal caused confusion and saw pushback from committee members, who have been working hard to meet the target of a $1 million budget reduction.

“We thought we were moving forward with a level budget,” Ms. Kirk said. “I am sort of bewildered by the process that has come forward here.”

By the end of the meeting, committee members had put the $1 million reduction back on the table.

At a subcommittee meeting last week, the school committee and administration had reached general agreement on about $790,000 in reductions. But the additional $210,000 the committee had hoped to get from teachers remained a sticking point.

“Looking at the $ 1 million reductions that we outlined last time, the only question mark in it was the $210,000 in staff reductions,” said committee member Robert Lionette.

Mr. D’Andrea told the school committee last week that he had asked members of the union to forgo their annual cost of living increases, but said the union had rejected that request, instead asking the school district to trim spending elsewhere in the budget.

Mr. D’Andrea originally said he was disappointed with the decision of the union, but struck a more conciliatory tone on Monday, when he announced that the union had offered a two-day furlough instead. The furlough would mean that union personnel would not work two professional development days. The savings would add up to about $114,000 at the high school.

But committee members said a two-day furlough would be a one-time savings and should be reserved in the event of a budget crisis — which many described as possible, citing a potential shortfall in funding from the state and local levels.

The meeting ended with more uncertainty regarding the budget than when it began. The committee did not vote on which direction to take. Instead, administrators were asked to examine the budget and see where staff positions can be eliminated — with the least amount of impact on student learning.

“If we are going to reduce more, we are going to reduce people, we are going to have an impact on the kids,” Mr. D’Andrea said. “If you want us to do that, we can come back with people we will have to reduce.”

The recertified budget must be approved in time to be consider as part of town budget votes in each of the Island’s six towns. Chilmark will be the first town to hold its annual town meeting, on Monday, June 8.