A bill giving schools the authority to institute a moment of silence during the school day has cleared the House Education Committee. Republican Representative Danny Carroll of Grinnell says the bill does nothing that’s not already allowed.But Carroll says it’ll give educators the legal backing to have one minute of silence, without fear they’ll be prosecuted for having prayer in the schools. He says having the legislation on the books provides the reassurance that it is state policy to allow for a moment of silence.Democrat Representative Mary Mascher of Iowa City, who is a teacher, opposed the bill. She says it is totally unnecessary and she says it’s offensive to those who think it is an issue that should be decided at the local level.The bill must be approved by the House, Senate and the Governor before it can become law. The courts have upheld a similar law in Virginia.