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You're So Fined

How do municipal fines affect people with different incomes?

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You're So Fined

How do municipal fines affect people with different incomes?

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How do municipal fines affect people with different incomes? Cities and towns around the country rely on parking and speeding tickets to generate much-needed revenue. Unfortunately these fines can trap the neediest residents in a cycle of debt, especially when they’re compounded by monthly late fees.

In this lesson, students write, solve, and graph systems of linear equations to determine how long it takes to pay off a ticket and debate the fairest ways for cities to raise revenues without harming their poorest residents.

REAL WORLD TAKEAWAYS

  • Cities use tickets and fines to deter bad behavior and also to raise revenue for local services.
  • The time it takes someone to pay off a ticket depends on their income and essential living expenses.
  • Many cities charge monthly fees when someone can’t pay a fine immediately. This affects both the time it takes to pay off the ticket and the final cost.
  • Some people who struggle to pay municipal fines go into debt, lose their jobs, and even go to jail.
  • Different countries calculate fines differently. In Finland, for example, speeding tickets are based on a person’s income.

MATH OBJECTIVES

  • Write and solve a system of linear equations and interpret the intersection in a real-world context
  • Explore how changing the slopes and y-intercepts affects where (and if) two lines intersect
  • Use a unit rate to create a table, graph, and equation

Great anytime, including at the beginning of a unit before students have any formal introduction to the topic.
Lesson gauge easy
Grade 8
Solving Linear Systems
Lesson gauge easy
Grade 8
Solving Linear Systems
Content Standards 8.EE.8 Analyze and solve pairs of simultaneous linear equations. (a) Understand that solutions to a system of two linear equations in two variables correspond to points of intersection of their graphs, because points of intersection satisfy both equations simultaneously. (b) Solve systems of two linear equations in two variables algebraically, and estimate solutions by graphing the equations. Solve simple cases by inspection. For example, 3x + 2y = 5 and 3x + 2y = 6 have no solution because 3x + 2y cannot simultaneously be 5 and 6. (c) Solve real-world and mathematical problems leading to two linear equations in two variables. For example, given coordinates for two pairs of points, determine whether the line through the first pair of points intersects the line through the second pair. A.CED.2 Create equations in two or more variables to represent relationships between quantities; graph equations on coordinate axes with labels and scales. A.REI.6 Solve systems of linear equations exactly and approximately (e.g., with graphs), focusing on pairs of linear equations in two variables. 8.F.4 Construct a function to model a linear relationship between two quantities. Determine the rate of change and initial value of the function from a description of a relationship or from two (x, y) values, including reading these from a table or from a graph. Interpret the rate of change and initial value of a linear function in terms of the situation it models, and in terms of its graph or a table of values.
Mathematical Practices MP.2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively. MP.3 Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. MP.4 Model with mathematics.

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