In April of 1945, Governor Hildreth signed into law a bill creating the Division of Special Education for Physically Handicapped Children under the Maine Education Department. While it only provided for children with physical disabilities and the “special” classes were separate from their “normal” peers, this bill was a step towards providing an education for every children regardless of disability.
In 1949, after a century or more of going back and forth between different organizational structures for statewide education, the legislature passed a bill creating a State Board of Education, the forerunner to the modern Maine Department of Education, which built more stability into the system and expanded the State’s role in overseeing schools.
In 1949, Pownal State School built its first school building, a temporary structure. But, financial and staff shortages in the era of World War II and the Korean Conflict stymied most expansion plans.