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 percent.

Trustees also unanimously voted Monday to adopt a 2019-20 compensation plan that includes pay raises in the neighborhood of 3 percent for all other non-teaching employees.

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

The additional state funding will be used for the district’s pay raises.

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 last March.

Under the new salary scale, a first year teacher with no experience will start with a salary of $39,000. For a teacher with six years of experience, they 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 currently short about 25 staff positions — including about a dozen positions 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 on Monday included increased contribution to healthcare 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. “We have a commitment from them to come back and make some adjustments to the compensation plan later in December for next year.”

Gibson discussed with trustees on Monday about creating a possible “superintendent’s contingency” fund that would allow the district to address some much needed projects with the possible $950,000, including updated stadium lighting, removing the wood paneling at Marshall High School (pending asbestos testing), and the creation of an agriculture barn at the high school.

Gibson said the trustees will look to adopt the 2019-20 fiscal year budget sometime in August. The district has a Sept. 1 fiscal year.