|Martha Brecher has spent more than a decade volunteering for and then working at the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN) in the field of education advocacy. Most recently, Martha served as Director of Technical Assistance and Co-Director of SPAN’s Parent Training and Information Center, the federally-funded parent center for the entire state of New Jersey. There, Martha supervised all SPAN staff who offered telephone assistance to families, educators and service providers on questions concerning federal and state education and civil rights laws, anti-bullying laws, intervention & referral services, school health services, discipline, and best practices. Martha also trained parents in subjects such as basic rights in education, IEP development, IDEA/Section 504/ADA, discipline, and positive behavior supports. She has participated in IEP clinics in which parents brought IEPs to the table for expert assistance in understanding the need for appropriate goals and objectives.
Martha has also been certified by the New Jersey Department of Human Services as a surrogate educational parent and has served as an educational surrogate for more than a dozen children and youth throughout the State. She has also participated in numerous national and statewide conferences, teleconferences, and workshops about best practices and current thinking on various aspects of education and legislative initiatives.
Martha is currently a member of the New Jersey Special Education Practitioners’ Group, the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, the New Jersey Coalition for Inclusive Education, the Education Task Force of the New Jersey Council of Developmental Disabilities, and the Consumer Advisory Committee of the Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities.
Prior to the adoption of her son, Martha served as senior vice president and general counsel of Comex, the NYC commodities exchange on which gold, silver and copper futures and options contracts are traded. Prior to that, she worked at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in NYC, on matters involving investor fraud, and the John Howard Association, a prison reform organization, in Chicago.
Martha graduated with a BA in history and political science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a JD from Rutgers School of Law – Newark.