Lafayette Parish School System Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper liked the idea of giving teachers a $1,000 pay increase, but he said more needs to be done for support personnel as well.

School board member Greg Awbrey suggested last week using a portion of a 2002 sales tax fund that is used for teachers' supplemental checks and making it a permanent part of their salaries.

Teachers would ultimately end up receiving the same amount, but Cooper said having that extra $1,000 spread out across 12 months instead of in one check would help some personal budgets.

Cooper also said it would help out teachers' retirements since those accounts are based on a person's base salary.

"I don't think anybody can argue that if there's an opportunity to give teachers more money, we need to do that," Cooper said while on "Nathan & Bernie in the Morning."

But Cooper said there are about 2,400 employees--custodial and cafeteria workers, for example--who are barely making minimum wage.

"Can you imagine working as hard as some of these people do--eight hours a day for four weeks--and their take-home check is less than $900 for the month?" Cooper questioned. "We can't forget this other group."

Cooper said a new school board would have to take a look at this issue and conduct some type of study. Many of these employees have not received a raise in 10 years, Cooper said, and the vast majority work diligently.

"We would fall apart [without them]," Cooper said.

To listen to the full interview with Cooper, click on the 'Play' button below.

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