To promote the development and implementation of special education through the proper allocation and distribution of federal funds. Proper funding processes ensure students with disabilities reach the highest level of achievement possible in school, the work place, and the community.

Program Description

The Exceptional Student Services (ESS) Operations Unit distributes IDEA formula-driven, non-competitive, and discretionary, competitive grants to eligible schools throughout Arizona. The grant process is fully automated through the ADE Grants Management Enterprise system. Grants are approved, amended, and financially monitored through the automated system. There are approximately twenty grant categories and the unit processes approximately 1000 applications per year.

In addition to grants, the ESS Operations Unit manages all contracts, procurement, data collection, and budgeting for Exceptional Student Services.

Funding Opportunities


Training & Guidance Documents


Chris Brown
Director of Operations
Phone: 602.542.3854
Email: [email protected]

Budget and Finance

Budget and Finance facilitates accounts payable, procurement, travel reimbursement, equipment orders, budget, and single audit activities.

Sonia Pizano, Procurement Specialist
Alice Nunes, Program Project Specialist

Program Management

Program Management is responsible for the distribution and auditing of IDEA grants for all public local education agencies (LEAs) providing services to students with disabilities.

Denise Pawlak, Grant Compliance Specialist

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