We have fabricated a neodymium-doped phosphate glass fiber with a silica cladding and used it to form a fiber laser. Phosphate and silicate glasses have considerably different glass transition temperatures and softening points making it hard to draw a fiber from these two glasses. A bulk phosphate glass of composition (Nd2O3)(0.011)(La2O3)(0.259)(P2O5)(0.725)(Al2O3)(0.005) was prepared and the resultant material was transparent, free from bubbles and visibly homogeneous. The bulk phosphate glass was drawn to a fiber while being jacketed with silica and the resultant structure was of good optical quality, free from air bubbles and major defects. The attenuation at a wavelength of 1.06 mu m was 0.05 dB/cm and the refractive index of the core and cladding at the pump wavelength of 488 nm was 1.56 and 1.46, respectively. The fibers were mechanically strong enough to allow for ease of handling and could be spliced to conventional silica fiber. The fibers were used to demonstrate lasing at the F-4(3/2) - I-4(11/2) (1.06 mu m) transition. Our work demonstrates the potential to form silica clad optical fibers with phosphate cores doped with very high levels of rare-earth ions (27-mol % rare-earth oxide).