Teachers are skilled labor, if you want good teachers you need to pay good salaries - otherwise many of the best, like you or me or any other talented and skilled labor, will walk and you'll be left with alot of dead wood.
The fact that you admire teachers (you know that three paragraph post where you went on and on..) means exactly jack shit if that admiration doesn't translate into supporting their effort to receive fair compensation.
Oh, I thought wanting to be a teacher, applying, and actively looking into ways to make it happen would have also accounted for something more than just admiration. Or financially and emotionally supporting my wife throughout her masters, using my income to pay for classroom supplies before starting her first teaching job, spending several weekends helping her in her classroom, would also count for more. Maybe it doesn't to you, and that's fine. We can disagree on how much you think I supported her. I would question where you get your information, but whatever.
IMO they are fairly compensated currently. Others in this thread have agreed or disagreed, thus the point of me creating the thread. To spur discussion on a topic I'm interested in.
It isn't just admiration, it's the career path I hope to get on at some point if I can make it happen financially (by effectively taking a year off from my current job to get my masters).
The job market works both ways. Employers need to pay more in a strong economy to entice desired workers to choose them, and when the economy is terrible, employers have much more power because there is a larger pool of unemployed skilled labor. Right now the economy is terrible, therefore a majority of the power is with employers.