Beyond all this, however, it puzzles me as to why real estate people would support someone hostile to public education. There is a very long literature that shows that spending on schools produces higher property values, particularly in the suburbs that are the places where Realtors and homebuilders make most of their money. Lisa Barrow and Cecilia Rouse:
A money quote from the NBER digest on the paper:
… A $1.00 increase in per pupil state aid increases aggregate per pupil housing values by about $20.00, indicating that potential residents value education expenditure."
The Barrow and Rouse paper are not alone in their findings: starting with Wally Oates' seminal 1969 paper through Hilber and Mayer's recent work, the empirical literature finds that school expenditures produce higher property values.
Wisconsin's economy has real problems, among which is a startling poor culture of entrepeneurship: if one looks at venture capital, it ranks very poorly. As such, the children that it educates well leave for other states to find opportunity (despite the stellar performance of its schools, its adult labor force is below average in share of workers with a college degree). But to attack one of the things the state does well--public education--makes no sense. And for Realtors to abet an attack that diminishes their own earning power makes even less sense.