Our teachers are tasked with the most difficult job imaginable: setting up our students for success. It is time that we treat our teachers with the respect and dignity they deserve, beginning with increasing teacher pay. We must pay and respect teachers as the professionals they are, and that includes increasing their pay to reflect their value. Our teachers are faced with closing the opportunity gaps our students face and providing all students with a pathway to future success, and this responsibility should come with respectable pay that incentivizes people to consider teaching as a career. We should ensure that teachers are given an increase in base pay, and further tie their pay to the cost of living in recognition of the difficulty of paying for housing, rent, and other services in a major metropolitan area such as Miami-Dade County. In addition, the creation of such a competitive base salary would serve as an effective means of attracting more qualified teachers to positions, ensuring that our students are taught by the highest quality teachers. By creating a new desire to participate in the profession and respecting the work our current teachers do, we can allow for our teachers to provide our students with the tools necessary for success. Our teachers are essential to ensuring the success of our students, and they must be paid and respected as such.