Four local mayors have signed a petition to Gov. Ron DeSantis asking him to invest more state funds in early childhood development.

Destin Mayor Gary Jarvis, Niceville Mayor Randall Wise, Fort Walton Beach Mayor Dick Rynearson and DeFuniak Springs Mayor Robert Campbell all signed the 100 Mayors Initiative formed by The Children’s Movement of Florida, a nonprofit organization that advocates for better early childhood education and healthcare support in Florida.

“As mayors, we take seriously the responsible stewardship of our constituents’ tax dollars,” the petition read. “We know that prioritizing early childhood development is a wise investment in Florida’s future prosperity. ... We ask that you make this a priority in your administration.”

When asked why he chose to sign the petition, Jarvis said that to him, it was a "no brainer."

“Children’s advocacy is something that goes beyond the bounds of political or anybody’s opinion that’s going to benefit children of all walks of life,” Jarvis said. “Myself and my sons are involved in the Destin Charity Wine Auction which benefits tons of local children’s charities, and this was just a natural extension of what we do on a personal level, and a chance to use my position as mayor to make a difference on the state level.”

Wise said he hopes the governor will agree with the petition.

“I hope he checks into it and does something about it and supports it,” he said.

The petition was sent to DeSantis on Jan. 21 after being signed by 101 Florida mayors.

CMF spokeswoman Annik Babinski said that the governor has not yet responded to the petition, but the nonprofit remains hopeful.

“We would love for the governor to mention early childhood in the State of the State, and take some of the actions outlined,” Babinski said. “We would love for him to make high quality pre-kindergarten a priority in his education agenda and emphasize high quality in early learning and childcare settings.”

For more information about CMF or the 100 Mayors petition, visit www.childrensmovementflorida.org/100-mayors.