Federal Initiatives

The purpose of Federal Initiatives is to implement the mandates of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

The State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP)

The State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) is a comprehensive, multi-year plan focused on improving results for students with disabilities. The SSIP is being  implemented in three phases:

Year 1 – (FFY 2013) – Phase 1: Analysis
Data Analysis
Infrastructure Analysis
State Identified Measurable Result (SIMR)
Coherent Improvement Strategies
Theory of Action

Year 2 – (FFY 2014) – Phase 2: Plan
Multi-year Plan

Year 3 – (FFY 2015-2018) – Phase 3: Evaluation
Report on Progress
Revisions to the SPP

State Performance Plan (SPP) and Annual Performance Report (APR)

Every state must develop and submit for federal approval a State Performance Plan (SPP) that outlines the actions the State will take to implement the purposes of the IDEA and that explains how the State will evaluate its progress in these areas. In an Annual Performance Report (APR), each State must report on its progress and on the progress of children with disabilities toward meeting the goals established in the APR.
State Performance Plan (SPP) and Annual Performance Report (APR)
Archive of State Performance Plans and Annual Performance Reports.

Public Reports

Each State must also report annually to the public on the performance of each local educational agency (LEA) located in the State on the targets in its Part B – SPP as soon as practicable, but no later than 120 days following the State’s submission of its Part B – APR to the United States Department of Education.

Reports / Resources

PEA Determinations

States are required to make determinations annually on the performance of schools. Schools receive a determination of “meets requirements”, “needs assistance,” or “needs intervention,” much like our state determinations from the United States Department of Education/Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).

PEA Determination Documents

Significant Disproportionality

Disproportionality means that there are more children from a particular group who are experiencing a given situation than one would expect, based on the group’s representation in the general population.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) gives states the flexibility and responsibility to define “significant disproportionality” based on race or ethnicity at the state and local education levels. This applies to identification, placement and disciplinary actions. States must make this determination annually based on an analysis of specific required data.

Arizona defines Significant Disproportionality with respect to identification, placement and discipline according to the following measures (applies to students with disabilities aged 6-21).

Surrogate Parents

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was enacted to protect the rights of children with disabilities and to ensure that they have available to them a free appropriate public education (FAPE). When the parents of a child with a disability are not known, cannot be located after reasonable efforts, or when there is no other adult in the child’s life who meets the definition of a parent, a surrogate parent must be appointed. A “surrogate parent” is an individual appointed to act in place of the parent when making special education decisions for a child. The surrogate parent cannot be an employee of the State Education Agency, the local education agency, or any other agency involved in the care or education of the child. Moreover, the surrogate parent must not have a personal or professional interest that would conflict with the child’s interest.

Access the ESS website for additional information on Surrogate Parents.

For more information please e-mail Stefanie Sharkey.
Surrogate Parent Coordinator

Parent Involvement Survey

The Arizona Department of Education/Exceptional Student Services (ADE/ESS) believes that state and local activities that build family and school partnerships lead to improved outcomes for students. The Parent Involvement Survey asks parents on an annual basis about how they have participated in the special education process. Parents should receive directions from their child’s school about how and when to complete the Parent Involvement Survey. If parents don’t have access to a computer, smart phone, or tablet, they can ask their child’s special education teacher or principal if a school computer is available, or they can telephone ADE/ESS for help in completing the Parent Involvement Survey at the following toll-free number: 1-844-381-4324. Surveys are available in English and Spanish.

For more information on the Parent Involvement Survey, contact Becky Raabe
Family Engagement Specialist
[email protected]
(928) 637-1871

Contact Information

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