Charter school students are many times more likely to be expelled than DCPS students. (Brad Horn/The Washington Post)

Charter schools exist to give competition to traditional public schools, and in the 15 years of their existence in the District, they have most certainly done that. But debate rages over whether the playing field is level. Charter advocates argue that the D.C. Public Schools enjoy funding advantages and easier access to real estate. But, as The Post’s Emma Brown reports, charter schools enjoy one major advantage — they have a much freer hand to rid themselves of troublesome students, expelling pupils at a far higher rate than DCPS:  “D.C. charter schools expelled 676 students in the past three years, while the city’s traditional public schools expelled 24.” The students expelled from charters invariably end up in DCPS schools, though the money associated with their attendance often stays with the charter that expelled them.

In other news:

Obama Inauguration II: The thrill is gone? (Post)

AG Irv Nathan wants Board of Elections to nix budget autonomy referendum (Post)

Colby King: Why do we know more about Jason Emma than Angelo Payne? (Post column)

How D.C. launched America’s best bikeshare network (Slate)

Shiloh Baptist Church celebrates its 150th anniversary (Post)

Parents of children at DCPS schools slated for closure flock to charter expo (PostExaminer)

In “Frontline” interview, principal at school targeted in cheating probe says she caught three staffers making erasures (Post)

Staff exodus from Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst amid questions about close GOP ties (HuffPo)

Rhee, in her memoir, softens key moments from her personal narrative — or drops them entirely (Answer Sheet)

Prosecutors mull retrying suspect in brutal 2005 beating of street vendor (Post)

The secret to D.C.’s hottest businesses can be found in … Bethesda (Capital Business)

High-stakes United Medical Center litigation may proceed to trial (WBJ)

New D.C. Council e-mail rules are “a step in the right direction that portends, one hopes, a new seriousness about ethics” (Post editorial)

Also, it now takes three council members to file a contract disapproval (Examiner)

Getting petition signatures in dead of winter isn’t easy, candidates discover (WAMU-FM)

Campaign worker contradicts Vincent Orange claims (Loose Lips)

Gray doesn’t support marijuana decriminalization, but his position “could evolve” (Examiner)

Oyster-Adams student, 12, sends Jay Mathews detailed case against standardized testing (Class Struggle)

White House hasn’t yet renominated Superior Court judges (Legal Times)

Cycling advocates make their pitch to women (Examiner)

The city’s 10 most dangerous intersections for cyclists (WashCycle)

CityCenter’s pricy condos bring a touch of Gotham to downtown (Capital Business)

After Skins loss, armed thieves went to work (Post)

Anti-gay hate crimes appeared to rise in 2012, according to preliminary data (Blade)

On Friday, a rare taxi carjacking in Park View (Crime Scene)

Government workers screwed out of holiday (Post)

D.C.’s economic divide, mapped (DCist)

So, yeah, that was awful (Post)