Nobody likes getting tickets. For many people they’re merely an annoyance; for people struggling to make ends meet they can be a serious burden. And since many states levy additional monthly fees when someone can’t pay off a fine in its entirety, some people get stuck in a cycle of debt that’s difficult to escape.
In this lesson, students write linear equations and solve linear systems to examine the relative difficulty of paying off a small municipal fine. They also discuss what can happen to the most financially vulnerable citizens when cities rely heavily on fines for revenue.