MARSHALL — Marshall ISD trustees on Monday unanimously approved a new, increased teacher pay scale and raises for other district employees ahead of the new school year.

Under the new pay scale, teacher, librarians, counselors, facilitators, coaches, interventionists, speech interns and athletic trainers have increased step raises ranging from 6.6% to 13.7%.

Trustees also unanimously voted Monday to adopt a 2019-20 compensation plan that includes pay raises of about 3% for all other nonteaching employees.

House Bill 3, also known as the school finance bill, passed by the Legislature this year provides $5 billion for lower school district taxes and $6.5 billion for classrooms and teachers.

It mandates 30% of funds given to schools go toward staff raises. Out of that 30%, 75% must go to teachers, nurses and librarians.

Under the proposed 2019-20 budget, the district is looking at a possible surplus of about $950,000, thanks to its additional state funding of about $4 million. The district is basing the proposed budget on a student enrollment count of 4,820 students.

The newly approved teacher pay scale now makes the district competitive with other Harrison County districts, including Hallsville ISD. Marshall’s teacher step raises had been frozen for three years until March.

Under the new pay scale, a first-year teacher with no experience will start with a salary of $39,000. A teacher with six years’ experience will draw in a salary of $41,850. The scale tops out at $55,040 for a teacher with 20 years or more.

The district, which has about 650 employees, is short nearly 25 staff positions — including about a dozen employees at Marshall High School and about 10 at Marshall Junior High School.

The trustees on Monday said they would like to revisit the district’s compensation plan sometime in December to discuss ways to become more competitive with other districts in time for recruiting in the spring. Possible ideas included increased contribution to health care expenses, retention bonuses and sign-on bonuses.

“I think they really want us to look outside the box,” Marshall ISD Superintendent Jerry Gibson said of the trustees.

Gibson discussed the idea of creating a “superintendent’s contingency” fund that would allow the district to address some much-needed projects with the surplus $950,000, including updated stadium lighting, removing the wood paneling at Marshall High School — pending asbestos testing — and building an agriculture barn at the high school.

Gibson said the trustees plan to adopt the budget sometime this month before the new fiscal year starts Sept. 1.