PORTAGE, Mich. - Portage Public Schools might revise its construction bidding process to give preference to the low bidder rather than local companies, according to The Kalamazoo Gazette.

The board of education in July picked a Kalamazoo company to perform $1.3 million worth of work on a new elementary school, despite its bid being $41,000 higher than the low bidder, The Gazette reported.

"I feel local preferences are important, but also feel a fair process is even more important," board Vice President Jennifer Whistler told The Gazette. "I have an emotional attachment to local businesses, but we're so tight on our budgets, we don't have much wiggle room."

The Kalamazoo Gazette, "Portage schools revising bid practices," Aug. 5, 2008

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "The Effects of Michigan's Prevailing Wage Law," Aug. 27, 2007